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Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi
Translated by: Mawlana Muhammad Kadwa
AUTHOR’S FOREWORD .........................................................................................4 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................5
PART ONE: THE ERA OF THE MESSENGER (pbuh)
The Primary Reason: VARYING COMMANDS FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND CIRCUMSTANCES...........................................................................................6 Reason 2: A SPECIAL CASE IS TAKEN AS A GENERAL ORDER.....................9 Reason 3: A GENERAL ORDER IS TAKEN AS A SPECIAL CASE...................10 Reason 4: A DIFFERENCE OF PERCEPTION .....................................................11 Reason 5: INTENTIONAL ACTION VS COINCIDENCE ....................................12 Reason 6: UNDERLYING CAUSES ........................................................................13 Reason 7: WORDS HAVE MULTIPLE MEANINGS ...........................................14 Reason 8: DIFFERENT TYPES OF INJUNCTIONS............................................16 Reason 9: AN INJUNCTION TO SHARPEN THE MIND ...................................17 Reason 10: AFFECTIONATE INJUNCTIONS VS CAUTIONARY INJUNCTIONS .........................................................................................................17 Compelling Interpretations ......................................................................................19 TWO CATEGORIES OF LAWS..............................................................................19 FUNDAMENTAL AND SUBSIDIARY DIFFERENCES ......................................................21 DIFFERENCES: A SOURCE OF MERCY........................................................................21 Prejudice toward any School...................................................................................21
PART TWO: THE ERA OF THE COMPANIONS & THE FOLLOWERS
Reason 1: Narration by Meaning ...........................................................................23 The Difficulty of Narrating by Memory ....................................................................24 Reason 2: ABROGATION .........................................................................................25 Reason 3: THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN ERROR ................................................26 Reason 4: LOVE FOR ALLAH’S MESSENGER (PBUH)....................................28 The Advice of Imam Bukhari to the Seeker of Hadith ..........................................29
-3Reason 5: EXCESSIVE LINKS BETWEEN NARRATORS.................................33 Reason 6: WEAK NARRATORS..............................................................................34 Reason 7: FABRCATION OF HADITHS................................................................35 Reason 8: TAMPERING WITH SOUND NARRATIONS. ..................................37 Weak Hadiths in the Later Generations ..................................................................38 SUMMARY OF THE DIFFERENCES IN THE SECOND ERA............................................38
PART THREE: THE ERA OF MUJTAHID IMAMS & SOME PRINCIPLES OF HADITH AND JURISPRUDENCE
THE MAIN REASON FOR THE DIFFEENCES BETWEEN THE IMAMS....39 Some Principles of Hadith ....................................................................................39 TYPES OF HADITHS ..............................................................................................39 THE BASIS OF REJECTION AND PREFERENCE............................................40 ASSESSMENT OF A NARRATOR.........................................................................41 THE INDISPNSABILITY OF THE PRINCIPLES OP HADITHS....................43 Some Principles of Fiqh: PRINCIPLES OF THE JURISTS FOR THE VALIDITY OF HADITHS ............................................................................................................43 THE MOST BASIC REASON FOR DIFFERENCES...........................................45 The Four Schools of Fiqh: THE OPINIONS OF THE IMAMS ARE ALL FROM THE HADTHS...........................................................................................................46 Examples of the Multi -Faceted Methods of Inference........................................46 The Parable of the Imams of Hadith........................................................................49 INFERENCE IN OUR TIMES ................................................................................50 THE APPROACH OF THE HANAFI SCHOOL OF THOUGHT.......................52 EPILOGUE ................................................................................................................53 ABOUT THE AUTHOR ...........................................................................................54 REFERENCES: .........................................................................................................59
the book could not reach completion. some friends insisted I publish whatever had been completed as part one of this book. Many friends and editors of other magazines strongly insisted I complete this series but to no avail. . So. and may He bless Mawlana Shahid with success in this world as well as the next. the said magazine terminated publication after about fourteen months. in spite of my own desire and the insistence of my colleagues. in Ramadan 1346 AH. (following my permission). I started writing articles for this monthly digest on the topic of “The Differences of the Imams” [Ikhtilaf al-a’imma]. upon Him do I place my trust. I had planned to publish it once some more (material) was added so it. and the upholders of the true faith. who at that time was a teacher at the above-mentioned institute and is presently the Mufti of Jami'a Ashrafiyya. my humble articles also came to an end. I continued writing a few pages each month for this magazine. At the insistence of Mawlana Jalil. To proceed. My success is only from Allah. at the termination of this magazine. a monthly digest entitled “Al-Mazahir” was launched by Madrasa Mazahir ‘Ulüm (Saharanpur) under the editorship of my dear friend respected Mawlana Jalil. his Companions. My initial intention was to compile a detailed and comprehensive book on this subject but my various academic [‘ilmi] as well as literary [ta'lifi] engagements precluded the realization of this intention. May Allah Most High grant blessing [baraka] in this. Excessive ailments have rendered me totally helpless and here I am sitting on the edge of the grave. in spite of my inefficiency and incapability. Since (I felt) the subject matter was deficient.-4- AUTHOR’S FOREWORD We praise Allah and send blessings upon His noble Messenger (PBUH) and upon His Messenger’s family. However. Mawlana Muhammad Shahid and other sincere friends insisted that whatever had been compiled is not devoid of benefit. may He benefit the people from it. I was able to write for the first magazine simply because the editor Mawlana Jalil was a teacher at the madrasa and he was always around to ask me to write. his followers. At that time. Amin. Mawlana Muhammad Shahid decided to print whatever has been compiled. Consequently. and to Him do I turn. Despite the barrage of engagements. due to certain circumstances. However. now there remains no hope whatsoever of fulfilling this ambition. However. Lahore.
which later became the established views of their followers. . nor do they give anyone the right to cast aspersions on the Companions [sahaba]. but the insistence of the people of Mazahir ‘Ulüm compelled me to put pen to paper. The first involves contradictory narrations [riwayat]. will be expounded upon to demonstrate that the apparently contradictory texts of the hadiths leave no scope for doubting the Messenger of Allah. hajj and virtually every other act of worship ['ibada] as well. the Followers [tabi'in] or the Imams (may Allah have mercy on them). I would have preferred to see the topic addressed by someone much more capable than myself. simply because of the apparently contradictory hadiths transmitted from him. I had excused myself from this mammoth task. meaning the apparent contradictions between the words and actions of the Companions [sahaba] and Followers [tabi'in].-5- INTRODUCTION All praise is due to Allah and peace and salutations upon the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh). The differences among the Imams are divided into three stages. in other words. the mere translation of the hadiths is bound to lead to objections and misgivings. The repercussions of these differences have reached such proportions that people have split up into various sects grappling and contending with one another. dating back to the first epoch of Islam. In the absence of these prerequisites. so much so that even if they wish to disentangle themselves from this vicious web just out of good thought for the Imams. In zakat. There is obviously no doubt about the importance of this issue. there is inevitably some difference or other which has led to people debating with one another. The fact is that all the Imams [mujtahidin] were leaders of the correct path and they encouraged and guided the masses toward the correct path as well. has gone even further and. The third stage encompasses the differences found among the schools of thought [madhahib] in other words. sawm. May Allah protect us. they have started harboring insolent thoughts about the Messenger of Allah himself. I present my disordered work. one has to posses the intellectual capacity to comprehend the hadiths together with a proper understanding of the background and the prelude of the hadiths. While acknowledging my incompetence. let alone the Imams. The first group is haplessly trapped in their evil thoughts of the Imams. and so forth. the fault lies in referring to (English or) Urdu translations of the hadiths. I pray that my writing does not merely add to the confusion rather than clarifying the master. The wudu' of one group is considered invalid by the other while the salat of one group is considered void by the other. The second group. since the Imams (of various schools) have established everything from the sayings and practices of the Messenger of Allah . they are unable to free themselves from this trap because they are further ensnared by the apparent disparity between the sayings of the Imams and some of the clear source texts. It has become necessary to expose the basis of the differences (of opinion) found among the Imams. The reasons for these differences. The second stage deals with the contradictions found in the athar. on the other hand. Nevertheless. because in order to get a clear picture of the meaning. Therefore. However. Amin. For some time now people have been occupied with the question that. the apparent contradictions between the recognized opinions of the various Imams. Any slanderous remark cast against them is a sure sign of the deprivation of Allah's mercy [hirman]. The issue has reached such dire proportions that those who object (to why she Imams have differed) have split into two groups. why are there differences of opinion among them? The numerous sessions of debates and the excessive number of publications on the issues of controversy have rendered the problem even more menacing. the apparent contradictions between the words and deeds of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).
the Angel Jibra’il actually demonstrated the correct procedure of salat before the Messenger of Allah and he in turn taught the Umma how to perform salat. Also. etiquette. Abdullah ibn ‘Umar once narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. When the verses of salat were revealed. PART ONE THE ERA OF THE MESSENGER (PBUH) The Primary Reason VARYING COMMANDS FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND CIRCUMSTANCES During the time of the Messenger of Allah. There were no distinctions whatsoever between a certain act being fard or wajib. If someone had to finely examine or challenge laws. 'A person should not prevent his wife attending the masjid if she wishes to perform bsalat therein. I consider it necessary to write briefly on each of these stages. it was considered rude and such a person would be admonished for his impudence. etc.” One of Ibn ‘Umar’s sons. And from Allah do we seek divine guidance. considering the prevalent conditions (of his time). the present-day system of imparting Islamic law was not in operation. or a certain posture being a sunna or integral [rukn].” Since this statement was in apparent contrast to the hadith of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . since the second and third stages of these differences are actually an offshoot of the first stage. The fundamentals. the Messenger of Allah used to inform the people verbally and demonstrate it practically Once the verses of wudu' [ablution] were revealed he showed his community how to perform wudu'. I will base my writings according to the same order as well. The Messenger’s demonstration left no complexities or uncertainties. The only method of imparting Islamic rulings was that whenever a command was revealed. conditions and interdictions of the laws [ahkam] and rulings [masa’iI] were not recorded separately. declared “We will not allow them to attend salat at the masjid. Even the Companions refrained from digressing into possibilities and rationalities.-6- Since these differences have occurred at three stages. Ibn ‘Umar found it extremely offensive and not only . There were no comprehensive books of Islamic jurisprudence [fiqh] available and in-depth compilations on specialized subjects.
. ‘Umar invoked the curse of Allah on a person who posed hypothetical questions. has the right to call out the iqama as well. the Messenger (PBUH) withdrew his permission and ordered the man to 3 join the congregational salat in the masjid. The reason for his unwavering answer was simply to draw attention to the fact that those who sincerely wish to practice Islam will not delve into any intricacies.’ The Messenger of Allah granted him permission. when certain other Companions decided to give their entire wealth in charity Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not accept it. its obligation [wujub] is self-evident.-71 did he admonish his son. A few examples are listed below which demonstrate this fact even more explicitly. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would then issue a verdict according to the circumstances and conditions of the questioner. when he learnt that this Companion lived in close proximity to the masjid and he was able to hear the adhan. However. Similarly. However. However. he refrained from speaking to him right until his death. who had heard the words of the call to prayer 5 (adhan] in a dream to make the call to commence [iqama] inspite of Bilãl calling out the adhan. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) accepted his excuse of blindness and exempted him from attending the congregational salat. Once. If Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and his Companions consistently carried out a certain action. These are not isolated incidents. Abü Bakr gave his entire wealth in charity and Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) accepted it. However. The Companions used to detest questions based on mere assumption: questions such as. Abu Hurayra said. Conversely in the case of ’Itbãn ibn Malik. but according to the narration of Musnad Ahmad. which clearly demonstrate that the Messenger of Allah issued varying orders for different people. In short. “I immediately understood the reason for the disparity between the two.” Saying this. 6 he restrained Bilal from calling out the iqama. Differences and contradictory narrations are quite obviously destined to follow from this. please excuse my absence from the masjid for the congregational salat and permit me to perform my salat at home. he was declined permission. “The questioner continued asking the same 2 question repeatedly and Ibn ‘Umar continued to provide the same answer. if a certain act is omitted in wudu’ or something additional is done. The one who was permitted was an old man while the other Companion was a 7 young man. the laws of Islam used to be taught in a practical manner according to the need of the occasion. what is the ruling?” Ibn ‘lJmar says that. Imam Muslim narrates on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that a blind Companion [sahabi] once approached Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and submitted: “I did not have anyone to guide me to the masjid. There are thousands of such incidents. He responded: “‘The Messenger of Allah as well as the Companions [sahaba] always performed the witr salat. Abu Hurayra narrates that a person once asked Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) if he was permitted to hug and kiss his wife while fasting. 4 Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) had permitted ‘Abdullãh ibn Zayd. Ibn ‘Umar was once asked if witr salat was wajib or sunna. “Whosoever calls out the adhan. once on a journey Ziyad ibn Hárith al-Suda’i called out the adhan and Bilal was about to call out the iqama when the Messenger of Allah said. The Messenger (PBUH) granted him permission. when another Companion sought permission to do the same.” . The Companions would only ask the Messenger of Allah about issues (masa'il) which occurred in reality.
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was quite confident that no matter what calamity afflicted that particular person. devoted followers. Notwithstanding this. the hadiths narrating laws pertinent to fasting while traveling are sure to differ as well. there were other personalities in the gathering upon whom he did not have such confidence. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) replied. However. ‘Abd aI-Rahmãn lbn ‘Awf narrates that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. “On the sixteenth of Ramadan we set out for a battle in the company of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Any number of conflicting narrations falling under this fundamental rule will still be considered negligible because every gathering consisted of various people.” However. This apparent contradiction between the two narrations is not only confined to two isolated narrators. Those fasting did not accuse chose abstaining nor did the latter challenge the former. On the other hand. since he was in a habit of fasting excessively it would be permissible for him to fast while traveling. On the other hand. Due to such differences. “You are at liberty to fast or to abstain from fasting. visitors. “There is no good in fasting while traveling” In fact. while others decided sane to fast. This is the reason for the apparent contradiction.” In short. the exempted [ma'dhur] as well as the healthy. it is most appropriate for him to fast in the holy month of Ramadan. he is not permitted to last. For this reason. and others in the presence of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) who would have heard these exchanges and related them according to their own understanding. the two groups who heard two conflicting laws would narrate only what they heard from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). One of the people in the gathering was so strong-hearted that even if he gave all his wealth in charity. these was a fear of them exceeding even the boundaries of lamentation if they gave away all of their wealth in charity. thereby forfeiting the great virtues of this month. You may do as you please. As a result. if a person is extremely weak and fasting while traveling will most probably be detrimental to him. The group that was present when the first order was given will obviously differ from the group that was present when the second order was issued.-8- In cases like the above-mentioned incident. there was no fear of him ever complaining. In fact. each group had no objection against the other. As evident from the aforementioned incidents. each narrator will narrate what he heard directly from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). 11 10 9 . However. Some of our friends observed the fasts of Ramadan. two large groups became narrators of two totally conflicting rulings. Jabir narrates that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. enquirers. for a traveler who is quite strong and able. The Law took into consideration the health of one and the weakness of the other. The person who was granted permission to kiss his wife while fasting will obviously narrate that hugging and kissing does not nullify the fast. the other person will narrate his hadith in direct contrast to this and will vehemently deny the permissibility of kissing and hugging while fasting. He should not postpone the fast when traveling. Hence. the able-bodied as well as the weak. the disparity of narrations stems from the disparity of conditions. the Messenger of Allah (sometimes) issued two utterly different orders for different individuals. In fact. he prohibited them from doing so. there were always groups of students. he would become ever more engrossed in turning his attention toward Allah and totally at ease with the fate issued by Him. “The one who fasts while traveling is like a person who breaks his fast while at home. A Sa’id al-Khudri narrates. delegates.” 8 Hamza ibn ‘Amr Aslami narrates that he once asked the Messenger of Allah whether. one hadith even refers to those who fast when traveling are sinners. Similarly.
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) ordered the Companion to perform tahiyyat al-masjid so that the people could witness his poverty and constrained circumstances. Abu Hurayra provided the conflicting narrations about kissing and hugging while fasting. 13 12 . the Followers [tabi'in]. Reason 2 A SPECIAL CASE IS TAKEN AS A GENERAL ORDER The second reason for contradictory narrations is that at times. occasion and correct juncture of each narration. According certain narrations. However. and the audience [majlis] was led to believe that it was a general order and not a restricted order. Apparent Contradictions in the Hadiths Allow me to point out at this juncture that we do not wish to elaborate on the category of this hadith. in fact there were. Even though the aforementioned fact (regarding she difference of narrations) is quite evident. and they were most certainly compelled to ponder over the disparity between the rulings and reach a decision whereby both rulings are taken into account. they started narrating it as a general rule. For example. and they should interpret each narration according to the demands of the occasion. a few testimonial incidents proving this fact were provided merely to drive the point home. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) made this statement in regard to a Jewish woman whose household was crying over her. Thus. the salat for greeting the masjid [tahiyyat al-masjid] is prohibited while the Friday sermon [khutba] is in progress. lbn ‘lJmar narrates that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. according to the Hanafi school of thought. the Messenger of Allah issued an exclusive order for a particular person due to some special reason. As explained above. nor do we wish to comment on it. nor do we wish to ascertain whether ‘A’isha’s hadith or lbn Umar’s hadith is given preference. the responsibility now falls upon the Companions [sahaba]. and the mujtahid Imams to determine the source.-9- There could have been.” ‘A’isha rejected this interpretation. one hadith makes mention of a very poor Companion named Sulayk al-Ghatafani who entered the masjid while the khutba was in progress. according to 'A’isha. some people who were present in both gatherings. For example. All we wish to clarify here is that such degrees of disparity and contradiction exist in the field of hadith study. which cannot be contained here wholly. they also witnessed this special concession awarded to this particular Companion in that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) ordered him to perform supererogatory [nafl] salat while the sermon was in progress. and it is not our purpose to do so here. Following such diverging narrations. ‘The deceased is punished due to the crying of his house folk. There are thousands of other similar incidents. Together with this. He narrated the reason for the disparity as well. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) brought the sermon to a halt and remained standing to enable this Companion to complete his salat. According to her.
” On the basis of this narration. he even prevented some of the very senior Companions from excessive narrations of the hadiths. . our freed slave. “By Allah. we are confident that this rule was specifically confined 15 to Sãlim only. the slave of Abu Hudhayfa is also a similar nature. Umm Salama. ‘A’isha. Abu Hurayra replied. The story of suckling Salim. In fact. The examples have been explained above. but some of them have committed many inaccuracies while narrating. ‘A’isha narrates that Sahla bint Suhayl came to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and submitted. You will not perceive any displeasure on. I perceive a feeling of displeasure on (my husband) Abu Hudhayfa’s face whenever Sãlim. considered this a general rule while the other wives of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) rejected this opinion. “Go ahead and 14 breastfeed him." It was for the same reason that ‘Umar prohibited the people from excessive narration during his caliphate [khilafa]. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) issued a special command confined to one person only. They (i. “O Messenger of Allah.” She replied.. the wife of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . then the narration of the hadiths would bewilder me just as they were left bewildered. “If I were narrating (then) like I am doing now.10 On the basis of this narration. let me draw your attention to the fact that this was only an oversight on their part and they had no 16 intention of committing these blunders. but the narrator confined it to specific individuals only. Reason 3 A GENERAL ORDER IS TAKEN AS A SPECIAL CASE The third reason for the apparent contradictions between narrations is the opposite of the second reason. “He is a bearded adult. those Companions) heard many hadiths from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) like I did. Abu Salama asked Abu Hurayra if he used to narrate as abundantly during the time of ‘Umar as he did in later times. comments on this: “We are not aware of the actual reason for this command. and they remained in his service like I did. ‘Umar would have cautioned me with his whip. many people considered this action as a general ruling.” Ibn Qutayba narrates in his book Ta’wil mukhtalaf al-hadith that ‘Imran ibn Husayn says.” He said. However. Abu Hudhayfas face thereafter. However. comes before me.” In short.e. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) mentioned something as an all-encompassing rule. and as an all-encompassing principle they narrate that a person who enters the masjid while the Friday sermon is in progress should perform two rak’ats [units] of tahiyyat al-masjid. the second reason for the apparent contradictions in the narrations is that at times.” Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) advised: “Breastfeed him. In other words. I fear that if I had to narrate. I know so many Hadiths that I can narrate rather extensively if I want to. but a narrator narrated it as a general rule. but the practice of certain Companions impede me from doing So.
which are special. he made it obligatory by wearing it. They narrated certain events according to the way they understood them. Sa’id ibn Jubayr . Prompted by these very same contradictory narrations. one of the narrators says that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) made an ifrad hajj because he heard the Messenger (PBUH) saying “Labbayk bi hajjatin" or "I have presented -myself in Your service to perform the hajj. he raised his voice saying 'labbayk' for hajj. and when it (the she-camel) stood up. He then rode (on the she-camel). and what the reasons for rendering something permissible for one and impermissible for the other. At the same meeting. The Messenger of Allah performed only one hajj. other people narrate that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) performed a qiran hajj.11 One example is the narration of Ibn ‘Umar regarding the punishment of the deceased.” The narration itself is authentic and the narrator is not guilty of any deficiency. In actual fact though. However. when he finished his two rak'ats. However. the Imams have also differed as so when it is most virtuous for one to initiate one’s ihram. They were able to understand every incident according. ‘A’isha said that this applied only to a particular incident of a Jewish woman who was being mourned by her family. some of them were not as discerning.. This narration apparently seems contradictory to the first. Only a mujtahid is able to bring about some harmony between the apparently contradictory narrations and avoid undue confusion. to the occasion. Reason 4 A DIFFERENCE OF PERCEPTION Quite often. Due to this. Hence the people differed among themselves. Hence. a great need is felt for the mujtahids who are aware of all the various types of narrations. From these narrations they are able to deduce which rules are of general applications. He replied: I am aware of it more than the people. The beholders of any deed are obviously of diverse perception. When he offered two rak'ats of prayer in the mosque at Dhu al-Hulayfah.” There are conflicting narrations as to exactly when Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) started his ihram. Some people heard it and I retained it from him. an outstanding Follower [tabi’in]. Similarly the hadith dealing with the Messenger’s commencement of his ihram or “pilgrim sanctity. there is no contradiction between the narrations since it's permissible for one performing qiran hajj to say “Labbayk bi hajjatin" (as Allah’s Messenger had uttered). On the other hand. Imam Abu Dawud (may Allah have mercy on him) transmits this narration in complete detail as follows: Sa'id ibn Jubayr said: I said to Abdullah ibn Abbas: Abul Abbas. for the revision of such narrations. Many examples of this can be found in the hadiths dealing with the pilgrimage (hajj). Ibn ‘Umar narrated this as general rule. I am surprised to see the difference of opinion amongst the companions of the Messenger (PBUH) about the wearing of ihram by the Messenger of Allah when he made it obligatory. because the qiran hajj is very different from the ifrad hajj. asked ‘Abdullah bin Abbas to explain these contradictions. there are apparent contradictions in the narrations simply various people saw Allah's Messenger (PBUH) doing a certain thing and they all narrated according to their own understanding of things. Some of the witnesses were very discerning. The Messenger of Allah came out (from Medina) with the intention of performing hajj. For example. but they had very retentive memories. with him .
Some of them convert to Christianity while some of them become atheists. The servants pitched his tent at that spot: that is why he camped there. According to Abu Hurayra and ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar. this lodging was 18 included in the devotions of hajj and it is sunna for a pilgrim to camp at Abtah. this stay over at Abtah was coincidental and it had nothing to do with the devotions of hajj. and they thought that the Messenger of Allah had raised his voice saying 'labbayk' when his she-camel stood up with him on its back. out of ignorance. In his book. the unfortunate person will be left perturbed and dumbfounded. The Messenger of Allah proceeded further. he raised his voice saying 'labbayk' and some people heard it at that moment. who writes that a non-mujtahid has no retreat or option but to follow a mujtahid (Isha’at al-sunna II:2II). For example. In contrast. and he raised his voice saying 'labbayk' when his she-camel stood up with him on its back. according to ‘A’isha and ‘Abbas. Plus. Others considered it intentional and willful. However. a leader of those who do not follow a traditional school in jurisprudence. totally relinquish following a school altogether [taqlid] eventually relinquish Islam altogether. Some of them considered it coincidental and treated it as a natural and habitual activity of his. Since Sa’id ibn Jubayr heard various contradictory accounts of this hajj he felt he should delve deeper into the true account of what exactly took place. we have become aware of the fact that those who. on the occasion of the farewell pilgrimage.12 on its back. resort to a school of thought [madhhab]). They thought that he had raised his voice saying 'labbayk' when he ascended the height of al-Bayda'. Mawlana Batalwi further writes: 'After twenty-five years of experience. it facilitated easy departure toward Madina 19 Munawwara. Some people heard it at that moment. it is an accepted fact that the Messenger of Allah camped at a place called Abtah. so he confidently explained exactly what happened. I swear by Allah. he raised his voice saying 'labbayk' at the place where he prayed. Since he was a jurist [faqih] as well as a mujtahid. have no retreat but to make taqlid (i. Reason 5 INTENTIONAL ACTION VS COINCIDENCE At times many groups of people witnessed the Messenger of Allah doing something. if an ordinary layman is confronted with all these apparently contradictory narrations. .. Sabil al Rashad. The most insignificant outcome of this freedom is flagrant violation of Islamic law (ibid II:53). when he ascended the height of al-Bayda' he raised his voice saying 'labbayk'. At the end of it all. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbbs was fully aware of what transpired. so they heard him raising his voice calling saying 'labbayk' when his she-camel stood up with him on its back. in spite of their vehemence and prejudice. There are many examples of this nature in the books of hadith. thereby narrating it as a sunna or mustahab (preferred) action. even the people who do not adhere to any madhhab [ghayr muqallidin]. and he raised his 17 voice saying 'labbayk' when he ascended the height of al-Bayda'. Mawlãna (Rashid Ahmad) Gangohi (may Allah be pleased with him) quotes an extract from the Isha'at al-sunna by Mawlana Muhammad Husayn Batãlwi.e. he also explained the reasons for the differences of narrations and at the same time he brought about harmony between all the narrations. This is because the people were coming in groups. Objections and various complications are thereafter bound to follow.
Rifi’ ibn Khadij says. In another narration. if other reasons are found—for example.” Rafi' ibn Khadij was then asked. in this case. However. it is mentioned in a hadith that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was once seated when the bier [janaza] of a disbeliever 21 passed by. If this is the reason for his standing up. “We used to hire our plots on a temporary sharecropping basis and regarded his beneficial and permissible. the word “disbeliever” must be mentioned in the hadith by the narrator. ‘Amr ibn Dinar relates.” The Imams are of the view that this lodging was not coincidental but intentional. we abandoned this practice. Rafi’ ibn Khadij says. Together with this objective. “We used to hire out our lands on the basis of temporary sharecropping [muzara'a]. ‘My uncle and other family members used to hire out their lands on a temporary sharecropping basis. Similar is the case of another hadith. They do not consider it necessary because it is immaterial whether the bier is that or a disbeliever. he camped there to facilitate easy departure this does not mean that his stay at Abtah was not intentional. For example. According to some narrations. since Rifi’ ibn 24 Khadij informed us that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) prohibited it. The Imams have done accordingly on the basis of the following hadith: "We will camp at Khayf Bani Kinana where the polytheists had vowed to oppose Islam.13 This is where the services of a mujtahid or a jurist [faqih] are required to sift through the various narrations and views of the Companions and award preference to one opinion over the other. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas informed me that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not actually 22 . He immediately stood up. then the practice of standing up for janaza will be restricted to the bier of a disbeliever only. due to the presence of the angels.” ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar says. If this is the case. However if we learn from other narrations that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) stoop up so that the bier would not pass above the heads of the Muslims. The narrators who consider this to be the underlying principle of the hadith do not even mention the word ‘disbeliever' in their narrations. This was very beneficial to us but Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) prohibited us from it. Hence.” In contrast to these narrations. contradictions appear due to the contradictory underlying reasons found in the hadiths. Upon this Tawus replied. he got up in honor of the angels accompanying the bier. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) intended to demonstrate the magnificence of Islam at the very spot where the disbelievers displayed their rejection [kufr] of Islam. The land owner and the farmer would agree that the crop which will grow around the water supply drains or any other pre-specified area will belong to the land owner while the remainder will belong to the farmer. 'The most learned of the Companions. if 25 the land owner lets his land on a specified rental?” He replied. “I told Tawüs to desist from hiring out his land on the basis of sharecropping because the Companions prohibited people from doing this. as this is a form of humiliation to them. 20 Reason 6 UNDERLYING CAUSES At times.. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) prohibited them from this. there is even more reason for the people to stand for the passing of a Muslim bier. 23 Obedience to Allah and His Messenger precedes all benefits. “That is quite in order.
In short. On the other hand. the word wudu' means cleanliness.. purity.. To give one example. the narrators differ in the underlying cause for the injunction expressed in a particular hadith. ‘O ‘Ikrãsh. the injunction of making 27 wudu’ after partaking of something cooked over the fire refers to this (form of) wudu'. At the end of the hadith he says. “After partaking of this meal. is bound to grant preference to one of the narrations only and attempt to reinterpret the other. one who is confronted with both hadiths and is cognizant of the principles of hadith. the underlying cause of this ban was to demonstrate its prohibition and nothing else. He thereafter addressed me. has no knowledge of a contrary hadith." In spite of this narration being somewhat disputed [mutakallam fih]. Salman once told Allah's Messenger (PBUH) that according to the Torah. etc. but thousands of instances of this nature. literally. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) added. This prohibition was not a juridical injunction. This can only be carried out by a person who knows many hadiths on a given subject and who also knows the actual texts of the various hadiths.” In Salman’s statement as well as the statement Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . He washed his hands and thereafter rubbed them over his face and arms." So. according to Ibn ‘Abbas. the word wudu' is quite common in its technical sense (of ablution before prayer). Hence. a person who only knows the translation of one hadith on a particular topic. wudu’ after meals brings about blessings [baraka] in one’s food. Each narrator will narrate the hadith according to his own understanding of it. and washing of the hands. we consequently have two apparently conflicting hadiths. water was brought before Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). However. There are not a few. according to Rafi’ ibn Khadij. we can still establish that the word wudu’ is not used in its technical sense but in its literal sense. the word wudü’ unanimously refers to the washing of the hands. the underlying cause for the prohibition was merely to ensure that people maintain good conduct with their fellow Muslim brothers. and is not aware of the principles of awarding preference to some hadiths over others: will he ever be able to understand which is awarded preference over the other and why? Reason 7 WORDS HAVE MULTIPLE MEANINGS One of other reasons for the apparent contradictions in the hadiths is that there are many words that are sometimes used in the literal sense and at other times in the technical or figurative sense. there is a lengthy hadith narrated by ‘Ikräsh in Sunan al-Tirmidhi. nor is it our objective to do so. There are many other examples of this nature in the books of hadith. Nevertheless. . 'Wudu' before as well as after the meal is a source of blessing in ones food. In a narration of the Shama’il of Imam Tirmidhi. In addition. while some of the Companions considered the usage in a different context. However.14 prohibit this practice altogether What he actually meant was that it is better for a person to lend his plot of land to 26 his Muslim brother for purposes of cultivation instead of letting it to him in exchange of something. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) used to say something using a particular word in one context. We do not wish to encompass them all.
‘Ali washed a few parts (of those normally washed during wudü’) of his body. Likewise. However. These are just a few examples where the word “wudu’” is not used in its technical sense. the issue of whether touching private parts nullifies the wudü’ or not. since there were relatively very few narrations supporting its nullification in the latter times. Similarly they have differed on the status of the wudu’ demanded by this hadith. There are not one or two. . there is no relationship between the breaking of the salat and the passing of one of these three. there were differences over whether or not the consumption of anything cooked over the fire nullifies the ablution [wudu']. he commenced. “‘This is the wudu’ of one whose wudu’ is still intact. They are explained in their respective places (i. dog or donkey passes in front of one who is praying.15 Similarly. Thereafter. washing only a few parts of the body is not referred to as wudu’ in the technical sense. they have differed the meaning of the word “touch” in the aforementioned hadith. while others regard this wudu’ as preferable [mustahab]. “We wash our hands and mouth after meals 28 and interpret it as wudu” For this reason. the breaking of the salat refers to the breaking of one’s concentration in the salat. all four Imams unanimously agreed that the ablution would not be nullified by eating something cooked over a fire. because one normally touches one’s private part to cleanse it after urinating. certain narrators will consider the word wudu’ in a certain hadith in its technical sense. Therefore. if the word wudu’ is not intended in its technical sense but in its literal sense. but scores of facts that affirm this second meaning. one can understand the principle cause of differences as well. it is narrated in Jam’ al-Fawa'id on the authority of Bazzar that Mu’adh was asked. According to some of them. According to some of the jurists. Some of them say that the word “touch” refers to its literal meaning. “The salat is broken if a woman. according to other Companions and jurists. This is why. the hadith is referring to wudu' in its technical sense. the salat is technically nullified if a woman. and they 29 will most probably add an explanation like “wudü’ such as wudü’ for salat. all four of the Imams have unanimously agreed that the narrations which mention (the obligation of performing) wudu’ after eating something cooked over the fire refers to wudu’ in its literal sense (i. Quite frequently. There are many other issues on which the Imams ['ulama’] and their followers disagree.. According to them.e. Similarly. Differences among the Companions [sahaba] and Followers [tabi'in] will consequently bring about differences among the jurists [fuqaha] as well.This will be explained in further detail in the next chapter. One example is. dog or donkey passes in front of a person performing salat” Some jurists take this hadith literally. just washing the hands and mouth). My aim in presenting these examples is to show that the word “wudu’” and other words have been utilized in their literal as well as their technical sense. Followers. and the Imams have all differed as to the type of wudu' required. etc. on one occasion. We have omitted them here for the sake of brevity.” Therefore. Otherwise such an injunction could have been abrogated. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. The Companions. From this. This is explained in order to avoid confusion. in books of hadith commentary). It is now clear that differences among the narrations are bound to occur. However.” This is to ensure that no doubt remains and those listening are not left in any confusion. wudu’ is compulsory [wajib]. To them. it cannot be in taken in its literal sense.e. On the other hand. Of similar nature is a hadith in which Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) says. Others say that the word “touch” refers to passing urine. a narrator will most probably explain that it refers to the washing of the mouth and hands. 'whosoever touches his private parts should perform wudu’”. while some of them assert that it refers to the literal meaning of the word. initially. “Do you perform wudu’ after partaking of something cooked over the fire?” He replied.
This is why even the Imams have differed over whether this injunction is compulsory. ‘This matter can only be reconciled by a jurist [faqih] or mujtahid because wherever there is a single command. and it is compulsory to wash the hands at that time. This is a clear indication of the indispensability of mujtahid and the necessity of adhering to a particular school thought. and jurisprudence [fiqh] as a prerequisite to the actual science of Qur’an and hadith. etc. specified [khass]. This will enable the mujtahid to become conscious of the various categories of Qur’anic verses such as the general [‘amm]. In every language we find that there are various types of injunctions. This is necessary to enable him to ascertain rise status of that individual command.e. This is why the scholars of hadith have instituted the study of the principles of Qur'an. before making wudu' According to some people. and some aspects of it have already been alluded to in the previous chapter. the apparent meaning of the hadith is taken. keeping in the hadiths. hadith. they applied every injunction to the correct occasion. the reason for the differences of narrations is a long issue indeed. every individual is compelled to view other commands and injunctions as well. interpreted [mu’awwal]. With diligence and perseverance.. judging from other factors. perspicuous [muhkam]. are compulsory or merely preferable. they believed in its compulsion [wujub] A second group considered it a preferable and virtuous action. Thereafter. Taking the obvious and apparent meaning into account.. optional or permissible.16 Reason 8 DIFFERENT TYPES OF INJUNCTIONS The eighth reason for contradictory narrations is closely related to the seventh. or merely a meritorious act. the actions of the Companions. An example of this is the hadith which commands us to put water into the nostrils while performing wudu'. ambivalent [majmal]. In actual fact. abrogator . Mere recitation of a translation of Sahih al-Bukhari will not enable one to determine whether a certain injunction is compulsory. Similar in nature is another hadith which makes mention of washing the hands after waking up. some people considered it so be compulsory i. If one hadith makes mention of reciting the “tashahhud" [prayer recited in the sitting posture of salat] while sitting. while a third group regarded the injunction as merely giving permission (to perform that action). Similarly the Imams have differed as to whether the injunctions pertaining to the takbir of salat or the injunction regarding the tasbih of ruku' and sujud. all the Imams have differentiated between all of these apparently contradictory narrations. whereas another group consider it preferable. Obviously both hadiths can not be of the same status. when Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) issued a certain command. and the principles of jurisprudence [fiqh]. "Kill the snake and scorpion (if they appear before you) while performing salat". unequivocal [mufassar]. Thus. some people regard this as compulsory [wajib]. another group asserts that this is preferable [sunna] to wash them. another hadith says. preferable. However.
He 30 instructed the man to repeat not only his salat but his wudu’ as well. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) ordered him to repeat his salat. In addition. He repeated his salat but once again. Reason 10 AFFECTIONATE INJUNCTIONS VS CAUTIONARY INJUNCTIONS . On another occasion. In other words. He should also be aware of the status of the narrators of the hadiths.. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) ordered him to go and repeat his salat. abrogated [mansukh] etc. and their unanimous decisions should also be studied carefully. rigorously authenticated [sahih]. The statements of the Comparisons and the Followers. I am unable to comprehend what is required of me. and logical reasoning [qiyas]. weak [da'if]. the person submitted.” Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) then explained to him of the repose and tranquility required in his 31 salat. saying his salat was not valid. those attributed directly to the Messenger (PBUH) by a Follower without mention of the Companion in between [mursal] continuous [mutassil]. they do form the basis of some of the differences in narrations. Differences are bound to occur over incidents such as these because every individual who was present in such a gathering will reinterpret these commands differently. etc. defective [mu'allal]. Although there are very few examples of this nature in the books of hadith. Reason 9 AN INJUNCTION TO SHARPEN THE MIND On some occasions. a person performed his salat very haphazardly and in extreme haste. and should be well versed in lexicography and grammar. he wanted the people to contemplate over the injunctions he issued to them. non-continuously recurrent [ghayr mutawatir]. the mujtahid should be well acquainted with the types and categories of deduction. "Please explain to me.17 [nashikh]. Apart from this. he should be aware of the various categories of hadith such as the continuously recurrent [mutawatir]. For example. After this happened a third time and his salat was still considered invalid. their differences. the Messenger of Allah issued certain injunctions merely to sharpen the minds of his people. analogy. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) saw a person performing salat while his lower garment was suspended below his ankles.
There are conflicting opinions of the scholars in this regard and they obviously. and another bath for the Fajr prayer. Similarly. Owing to the possible frustration of the reader. If you continue doing as I advised you. There are thousands of hadiths dealing with jihad which are perfect examples of the differences in narrations.18 Allah‘s Messenger (PBUH) was not only the Prophet of the entire community. he was also a physical doctor for the masses. In addition.” According to some scholars." Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) thereupon said. one hadith mentions the compulsion of wudu’ after touching the private parts. Conversely. and a leader to his people.” Likewise.Muslim on the battlefield is entitled to the goods in the possession of the non-Muslim. These factors are such that each one of them can become an individual reason for the vast differences of narrations.. I have incorporated all those reasons into one. This is something about which there can not be any shadow of doubt. Your body also has a right over you. while another hadith says the private parts are merely a piece of the flesh of one’s body. some scholars assert that this was a religious injunction. “Do not do this. according to this hadith. Therefore. though he was also more efficient than an ordinary teacher and mentor in the field of spiritual nurturing and upbringing. You should perform salat during a portion of the night and sleep during a portion of it as well. He ruled that the first hadith applies to the leaders while the second is for the general masses. for various conflicting reasons. it is not compulsory after touching the private parts. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. Hence. You should fast on certain days and refrain on certain days. “Whoever kills a non. “This is indeed the case. ‘Allama Sha’rani (may Allah be pleased with him) correlated between these two hadiths in the method demonstrated above. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reports that Allah’s Messenger once told him. just as wudu' is not compulsory after touching any other part of the body.” He replied. "I have been informed that you fast daily and you observe optional [nafl] prayer throughout the night. since most forms of farming are permitted in the Shari‘a. he may do so if he feels it is expedient. another bath for Maghrib and ‘Isha prayer. (This prohibition is not general. In one battle. some narrations inform us that touching a woman invalidates the wudu' while we deduce from other narrations that the wudu’ remains intact. there are many narrations which prohibit his companions from certain farming arrangements. I will terminate this discussion concisely together with a few examples. it is a clear truth exposed to everyone. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) instructed a woman suffering from dysfunctional uterine bleeding [mustahada] to take a single bath for Zuhr and ‘Asr prayer. or they established a compromise between she two conflicting narrations. he was more affectionate than parents to a child. Many injunctions of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) in spite of being issued in one context are bound to be confused with injunctions issued from the opposite context. either awarded preference to one narration over the other. ‘Allama Sha’rani (may Allah be pleased with him) explains this contradiction thus: “The non-compulsion of wudü’ is for the masses only. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) issued this statement as a king would issue a royal statement. Just as it is possible to find injunctions issued by the Messenger in an affectionate tone. while its compulsion is confined to the leaders of the Umma. On the one hand. but our discussion is becoming inadvertently lengthy. which is a consequence of lengthy discussions. many people were prevented from excessive fasting on grounds of the Messenger of Allah’s affection for them.) In a similar vein. They argue that it will always be applicable and can not be subjected to the discretion of the leader. you will nor get tired Your family also has a right over . a spiritual doctor to his lovers. this injunction is more of a political or diplomatic nature than a religious injunction. one will also come across many injunctions which were issued as stern warnings and reprimands. This prohibition stems from the Messenger of Allah’s affection toward the farm laborers. if the leader of the Muslim army wishes to issue such a statement. The Scholars have differed as to whether this type of bathing is a form of religious injunction or whether it 32 is a form of medical treatment to combat the illness.
” This hadith has been transmitted with slight variations in its text in the various books of hadith. Therefore fasting only three days a month and completing the recitation of the Holy Qur'an only once every month will suffice for you. the hadith prohibits perpetual fasting. “A believer [mu’min] does not remain a believer while he is 36 committing adultery nor does he remain a believer while he is stealing” Of a similar nature is the hadith wherein Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) says. Also you are prohibited From completing the Holy Qur’an once every seven 33 days. All I wish to prove at this juncture is that the basis for which these differences came about is indispensable. relatives and visitors also have a right over you.. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) cautions. his salat is not accepted for forty days. though. Set aside some time for them during the day and night.e. ‘If only I had taken heed of the advice of Allah’s Messenger. At this point. Before I go further. “Fine! I will permit you no more than the fast of Dawud: You may fast every alternate day and no more. do I wish to cover them all. The objective of this assignment has been achieved up to a certain degree. At the end of the narration. “Oh Messenger of Allah! I can massage more than that. From among the many reasons for these differences." Following repeated requests.” 37 The aforementioned reasons for the differences of narrations were merely mentioned as examples. Other Aspects TWO CATEGORIES OF LAWS . “Whosoever consumes alcohol. Likewise. to fast every alternate day)? This is why ‘Abdullah used to 34 lament in his old and feeble age.” According to some scholars. some have been explained above as examples. in that the apparent contradictions in the statements of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) are all explainable. the Messenger of Allah finally relented and said. I will also present a few examples from these eras. Your friends. For example. According to the version mentioned in the Mishkat al-Masabih on the authority of Imam Bukhari. or that his fasting is null and void.19 you. and the consequent differences that appeared. I would like to bring up an unfounded objection (which normally comes up) at this juncture. what else save affection for ‘Abdullah had prompted Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) to permit him to fast the fast of Dawud (i. Allah’s Messenger 35 (PBUH) said." Compelling Interpretations There are many other hadiths which were conveyed as threats or admonishments." Abdullah replied. “There no fast for one who observes perpetual fasting [sawm al-dahr]. It does not mean that (one who does this) will not be rewarded for it. This category (of differences) is not confined to these examples only. this hadith is more of an admonishment to abstain from perpetual fasting. I would like to discuss other reasons for these differences which surfaced in the era of the Companions. All the reasons for the differences cannot be accommodated in this brief assignment nor. due to my helplessness.
and a second set of laws in which differences of opinions have been declared a source of Allah’s mercy. even if the action is incorrect. differences in the second category are considered a source of mercy upon mankind. Qat’i is a reference to those laws which are not left to the intellectual capabilities of man. it would still have been extremely difficult to preserve these laws from differences of opinion. On their return to Allah’s 38 Messenger. the Shari’a has divided the laws into the two categories of fundamentals and by-laws. However. Words are multi-facetted and can have multiple interpretations. and this was a primary reason for his advent. etc. the Messenger of Allah commanded a group of Companions to perform their ‘Asr prayer at the dwellings of Banü Qurayza. every action. Musa and ‘Isa. In one example. In fact. he approved both of their actions. In actual fact it is due to an intense degree of affection toward this Umma that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not regulate and gather all of the by-laws of the Shari’a. and made it strictly prohibited to debate on the first category as is evident from the following verse: Allah has established for you the same religion as that which He enjoined upon Nuh. provided that the error is not due to one’s negligence. Differences would still have occurred because all statements constituting the by-Laws of Shari'a are issued through the medium of words. This verse sternly prohibits any debate in religion [din] with regard to the first category of injunctions. Similarly. (Surat al-Shura 42. the Shari’a did not place any constraints. even if this was the case. The second set of laws is such that the Shari’a has placed no constraints upon them. In essence. he divided the laws of the Shari'a into two categories: a set of laws in which contemplation. one of them refrained completely from performing salat while the other performed tayammum [dry ablution]. namely that you should remain steadier in religion and make no divisions therein. and unequivocal. Under the category of by-laws. definitive. everything in this category would have also been incorporated in the first category. Anyone reinterpreting these laws is in error and would be considered misguided. Plus. The one who reinterprets these laws differently and does not practice them will not be considered misguided. They are all explicit. Due to a lack of water. Some of them took the command to perform the ‘Asr prayer at Banü .. and man has no right to reinterpret or to re-expound these laws. This is why there has been no prohibition on this type of debate and differences. and that which We had revealed to you and that which We have enjoined upon lbrahim. On the outside.20 An objection which normally appears at this juncture is this: since Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was sent to this world to convey injunctions of Islamic law [Shari 'a]. since this would have caused hardships to the Umma. on another occasion. The first set of laws is referred to as fundamental beliefs [i'tiqadat]. Imam Nisai (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates on the authority of Tariq an incident of two Companions who were both in need of a compulsory bath [ghusl]. I will present just two examples of this nature. Hence. as evident from the scores of incidents which occurred during the blessed era of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). while the second set is referred to as by-laws or derived laws [juz’iyyat or far’iyyat]. the Shari’a has divided all the laws into two basic categories: the definitive [qat’i] and the speculative [zanni].13). but in reality it is unfounded and baseless. can potentially earn the reward of Allah. Instead. were explained in complete detail by Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . deliberation and discussion has been abhorred. If all the fundamentals. why did he not convey all the injunctions of Shari 'a in complete detail during his lifetime? This would have averted the confusion and anxiety of contradictory narrations and other such issues. This objection stems from a lack of insight into the laws of Shari 'a.. this set of laws has taken into account the weakness of the Umma and is intended to make things simpler for the people. Thus. this objection looks quite clear-cut and sensible. compulsions. This would have consequently placed hardships on the Umma.
This was one of the reasons why Imam Milik (may Allah be pleased with him) declined to comply with Caliph Harün al-Rashid’s request for him to hang a copy of his Muwatta’ upon the wall of the Ka'ba and issue a command for everyone to adhere to it. there is a vast distinction between fundamental differences and secondary differences. This incident is mentioned in detail in Sahih al-Bukhari. they performed their Asr salat at its proper time. they nonetheless executed what they felt was the meaning of the command issued to them by Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). another group regarded this as a command to reach Banu Qurayza in haste (i. when Caliph Mansur went for hajj. Even though their salat was delayed from its actual time.e. It is not my objective of discussion at this point. Every Imam has some difference or another on subsidiary issues of Shari'a. “The differences of my Umma are a source of mercy. he requested Imam Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) to give him a copy of all his works so that he (Mansur) could have them published and dispatched to all the parts of the Islamic world. In addition.21 Qurayza literally and acted accordingly. the differences of opinion found among the Imams are religiously required. Prejudice toward any School ‘Allama Sha’rani (may Allah be pleased with him) writes in his book Al-Mizan. If this was not the case. the Umma would have been encumbered with difficulties beyond their endurance. . if time assists me in my endeavors. Similarly. FUNDAMENTAL AND SUBSIDIARY DIFFERENCES In short. in order to ensure that people did not differ over religious [dini] matters. it is permissible to issue a religious verdict (fatwa) according to the school of thought of another Imam provided there is a legal and juridical (shar'i) need to do so. Imam Malik was requested repeatedly to do this but he emphatically refused each time and declared: The Companions also differed in subsidiary issues and all of them were considered to be correct. Those who consider these secondary differences equal to the fundamental differences and apply the Qur'anic verses and hadiths about the evil of differences to these secondary differences are either ignorant or fooled into believing otherwise. by ‘Asr time). Allah willing. en-route to Banü Qurayza. There are numerous other incidents of this nature. Imam Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) replied. There is no doubt that the Shari'a has placed great ease and flexibility on these secondary differences. I will mention this topic in more detail while discussing the differences of opinion of the third era. Those who have some inclination toward jurisprudence [fiqhi] will surely understand the aforementioned benefits of the differences of opinion. Their statements and schools of thought are practiced throughout the world and there is no sense in prohibiting the people from other schools of thought. O leader of the faithful! Do not ever think of doing this. However if there were no allowances for such differences of opinion. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not object 39 to the actions of either of the two groups. Mansur wanted all the Muslims to adhere to uniform code of Islamic law.” The fact that these differences of opinion area source of mercy is quite obvious. it would not be permissible to sway from one ruling to another even if there was a dire need for it. Hence. In short.. and the benefits of them are manifold. Allow them to continue accordingly. The people have in their possession the hadiths and the statements of the Companions which they are adhering to. DIFFERENCES: A SOURCE OF MERCY This is a desired objective of the statement of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) wherein he says. However.
inferences. Nonetheless. In that case. will not be exposed to him.. is worth writing in gold. there was a religious [dini] need so have the narrations also revealed with some amount of ambiguity. another would consider the same as optional. this does not mean that a person is at liberty to infer and draw conclusions from the texts of the Qur’an or hadiths according to his own understanding. The fact of the matter is that as long as one does not cross all the stations of the spiritual path (suluk) through the companionship and direction of an accomplished spiritual guide [shaykh kamil]. Furthermore. once he receives divine revelation [wahy]. you will clearly realize that all the four Imams and their followers are on the path of divine guidance. which runs into almost a hundred pages. then He would have forbidden it as He had forbidden debating on the fundamental teachings of the Shan’a. In short.’ This priceless treatise of Imam Sha’rani (may Allah be pleased with him). Once you have studied this carefully. the various opinions of the Imams are all extracted from the hadiths. as this would lead him astray. their followers are bound to adhere to it. you will not have objections against the followers of any of the Imams. the entire work is worth translating. This is most definitely not what I mean. At that time a person realizes that all the schools of thought are on the right path. and that the contradictory statements of the various Imams are a source of divine mercy. Hence. consequently. What I am saying is that each of the Imams has selected one of the two options before him. you will land yourself in an abyss of destruction because Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) concluded that differences in subsidiary issues of religion are a source of divine mercy. Some students were duped into believing that this is what I meant. It will be firmly impressed on your mind that all the four schools of thought are part and parcel of the Shari’a.22 'If you view it with an impartial eye. what I wish to say is that the differences of opinion found among the Imams which appear to be disunity are in actual fact not disunity. established that they were all divinely guided. By this statement. This is not a fabrication from myself.' Shaykhh Muhyi ‘l-Din ibn ‘Arabi writes in his book Futuhat al-Makkiyya. His topic is extremely beneficial in fact. If these juridical laws were conclusively revealed like the fundamental tenets of faith. Al-Manhaj al-mubin fi adillat al-mujtahidin [Clear Way in the Proofs of the Mujtahids}. However. but an established reality confirmed by the statements of the learned elders [masha'ikh]. "When a person is bound to a particular school of thought and he also progresses in the field of spirituality at the very summit he reaches a sea (of consciousness) through which all the Imams have passed. and corroborating statements. as it should be understood. The only difference between the opinions of the Imams is that. where one Imam considers a certain juridical [shar'i] injunction as compulsory. On the contrary. the complete reality of this. I have assembled all the corroborating statements of the various Imams in that book and. I am in no way implying that one is at liberty so select the opinion of whichever Imam one fancies—either the compulsory or the optional. if Allah abhorred this difference of opinion. has a good view of all the other religions as well. any debate of the Imams would have been a source of misguidance and the lack of debate would have caused untold hardship to the community at large. you should also proceed to an accomplished spiritual guide and exert yourself in order to acquire the reality of these metters. deductions. they are indispensable and their absence would have been a burden on the Umma. In actual fact. whichever one they select. as it would render the entire religion a plaything. if you wish to savor its taste. since their differences of opinion stem from the differences in narrations. This can be likened to a Prophet who. Allah is All-Knowing and All-Wise and His expediency demanded that things should turn out as they have become. Whatever I have mentioned about the Imams I have not said simply because I cherish favorable thoughts about them. I have established good thoughts toward them as a result of extensive research into their opinions. Whoever does not believe me should study my book. If you regard the subsidiary differences of opinion as the same as fundamental differences in religion [din]. Whatever their stages of differences. there would be no scope for the Imams to have any differences. Such a difference of opinion is not .
“I used to hear one hadith from ten people and all of them used to differ in the text but they used to be unanimous in the meaning. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) considered the actions of those who had speculated based to their own understanding as ignorance. This conflict was bound to occur. He based its permissibility on a hadith narrated by Tabarani and Ibn Manda in which Abdullah ibn Sulayman once told the Messenger of Allah that he was unable to narrate the Messenger’s . provided the other prerequisites are found in the narrator. PART TWO THE ERA OF THE COMPANIONS & THE FOLLOWERS Reason 1 Narration by Meaning Apart from the reasons mentioned regarding the first era.” Allama Suyuti (may Allah be pleased with him) has dealt with this topic in detail in his book Tadrib al-rawi.23 sound. memorizing and relating the exact words of the hadiths (as they had heard them) without any change whatsoever. Ibn Sirin says.” Allama Dhahabi (may Allah be pleased with him) quotes the statement of Abu Hãtim in his book Tadhkirat alhuffaz: “I have not seen any of the hadith narrators. However. The only difference of opinion which is reputable is that which is subjected to judicial [shari'] maxims and principles. besides Qubaysa. there were many other factors during the era of the Companions and Followers that contributed to the conflict in narrations. in the incident which dealt with bathing when in a seminally defiled state [janaba]. wherein he also transmits the various opinions of the scholars on this issue of whether or not narrating the meaning of the hadith instead of the actual text is permissible. people used to narrate the hadiths in their own words and not in the actual words of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). For instance.. Allãma Suyuti says that all four Imams have unanimously agreed that narrating a hadith by meaning instead of the actual text is permissible. In other words. One of the foremost reasons for these conflicting narrations is due to narration by meaning and not narration by actual text.
The Messenger (PBUH) once said. “He (Abdullah’ ibn Mas'ud) used to frequent the house of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) to such an extent that we were initially under 41 the impression that he was a family member. you tend to make errors in the letter "fa" and “wãw” (i.24 exact words. Sha'bi. It is possible that in narrating the meaning instead of the actual text. Cautioun in Textual Narrations Other great scholars were also very cautious about attributing the hadiths directly to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) because it was extremely difficult to abstain from any form. “The Holy Qur’an is written out and preserved in its original form. However. provided he narrated the 40 meaning of the hadith in full. and not for anybody else. This is why Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) decided to make the religious verdicts [fatawa] of Ibn Mas’ud the basis of (much of) his jurisprudence [fiqh]. The Messenger (PBUH) permitted him to change the text of the hadith.” Upon this Wathila commented. On one occasion Makhul asked Wãthila ibn al-Asqa to narrate a hadith that he heard from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) without adding or subtracting any words and without a doubt or error in the text of the hadith.” Waki’ (may Allah be pleased with him) said. the aforementioned issue is one of the chief reasons why Imam Abü Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) refrained from attributing the hadiths directly to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . ‘This was one of the main reasons why a great multitude of the Followers [tabi'in] abstained from attributing a hadith directly to the Messenger of Allah. the entire nation of Muslims would have been destroyed. We will explain this in detail at another time.. one may attribute something incorrectly to him and consequently become liable to severe punishment. about whom Abu Musa al-Ash'ari says. albeit with certain conditions. “Does any one of you know the Qur’an by heart?” Makhül replied. Zuhri. In spite of this. narrating the meaning of the hadiths rather than their text was permissible only for the Companions. to his personal secrets. Wãthila asked him. they are sometimes interchanged). among others have permitted this for all narrators. Even a personality like Ibn Mas'üd was extremely cautious in attributing any hadith directly to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). He was one of the greatest of the Companions. During his lifetime. When it comes to narrating the hadiths of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) consider the narration of the meaning as sufficient (and do not be overly concerned with the actual text). other hadith scholars [muhaddithin] like Qasim ibn Muhammad. Ibn Sirin.” Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) even granted him permission to listen. “If there were no (allowance for) narrating the meaning of the hadiths instead of the actual text. . the Messenger of Allah appointed him as a teacher of the Holy Qur'an. Instead. “We do not know the Qur’an so well that we would not make any mistakes whatsoever. The Difficulty of Narrating by Memory It is also very difficult to remember all the actual words of the hadiths.e. some of the hadiths I have only heard once.” According to Ibn al-Arabi. etc. they used to narrate the hadith in the form of an injunction. So how can I narrate a hadith in the manner you have requested? In fact. along with the fact that it is dangerous to attribute (a hadith) directly to him. “If I were to appoint anyone as a leader [amir] would have appointed Ibn 42 Mas'ud as a leader. Ibrãhim (al-Nakh'ay).” Hadiths like this explaining the virtues of Ibn Mas'ud are rarely found narrated in favor of the other Companions. Among others. of error or mistakes while narrating the actual (text of the) hadiths.
his entire body would tremble (out of fear of attributing something incorrectly to him). While toiling in their fields. I will deal with this in more detail when we discuss the allegations against Imam Abü Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) regarding his knowledge of hadith.25 What I wish to make clear at this point is that in spite of his excessive knowledge. wiping over the turban was permissible at the very beginning of Islam and it was later prohibited. lf he did. The masjid in those times was also very small. the odor given off by some people . as this would have created differences and contention among the community. their clothing used to give off an offensive odor. we have also established that differences in those narrations are also inevitable. Due to a difference in interpretation. “If I did not have a fear of slipping up. for me to narrate that ‘this is what Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. the special attendant [khadim khass] of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) says. However. I would have narrated many hadiths that I had heard from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).’ I will not be able to do that. Ibn Abbãs said. “I stayed with ‘Abdullãh ibn Mas'üd for a period of one year and I did not hear him attributing any hadith to the Messenger of Allah. At this point. there are many such incidents which highlight the Companions’ caution when it came to attributing the hadiths to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). he narrates the statement of Abü Sa'id al-Khudri’ that bathing [ghusl] is compulsory upon every mature person on Fridays. This is one of the reasons why Abü Bakr. I have mentioned a few incidents to elucidate on the fact that.” Similarly. However. some of the people who heard the initial injunction were probably not present to hear its abrogation and thus continued narrating what they heard (before the abrogation)..” In short. At that time the people used to work in their fields themselves and were unable to employ any servants due to extreme poverty. Since we have established the permissibility of narrating (a hadith) with meaning instead of narrating with the actual text. Reason 2 ABROGATION One of the other reasons for differences in narrations during the era of the Companions and Followers was that many a time Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would say something which later became abrogated. and his numerous hadiths. Imam Muhammad al-Shaybãni (may Allah be pleased with him) writes in his Muwatta “As far as we are aware. Their garments were made of thick woolen material at that time. However. in his speech after the death of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).” Anas. he rarely attributed the hadiths directly to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). the narrators related the meanings of the hadiths instead. there are many narrations which permit wiping [masah] over the turban. Abu ‘Amr al-Shaybani says. per chance. differences in meaning are also bound to appear. I will fall under the threat of punishment” Suhayb says: “I will be able to narrate the incidents that took place in our battles while we were with Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) However. When all the people used to gather in the masjid for the Friday prayer. since it was difficult to narrate the hadiths word for word. due to excessive perspiration. I have also explained why the senior Companions refrained from attributing anything directly to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). However. For example. say Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said’ in regards to any sentence. I fear that if I narrate those hadiths. forbade the people from narrating hadiths. “This compulsion was confined to the beginning of Islam only. his lofty virtues. If Allah wills.
. The inevitable existence of these types of errors explains why. Thereafter.26 used to be very offensive to other attendees. between the correct and the incorrect. I am restrained by the fact that there are some Companions who heard the hadiths from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) like I did.” This hadith clearly shows that the compulsion of wudü’ was abrogated. he used to make the narrator swear an oath that he had reported it exactly the way he heard it from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). and between the truth and the fabricated. etc. However. Hence. This is why they were commanded to have a bath and apply perfume. In his Isaba. Hence. the Messenger of Allah’s habit was not to make wudu’ after eating something cooked over the fire. they are not doing this intentionally. They can neither be criticized nor censured. Imam Abü Dãwud (may Allah be pleased with him) disagrees with this interpretation of the hadith. everyone is afflicted with forgetfulness.” There is also a comparable narration from Abü Hurayra which says that the wudü’ is nullified if one consumes 44 anything cooked over the fire. 45 Reason 3 THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN ERROR The scholars are unanimous in their view that the Companions were all reliable narrators ['adul]. Jabir’ relates. the contradictions will be resolved. whenever Ali would hear a hadith from anyone other than Abu Bakr. among other things. errors and other human shortcomings. Contrary to this. Obviously. it is incumbent to compare narrations with one another to determine if there are any errors. in which he says. However. This is why we also mentioned another interpretation of this hadith previously [see page 15]: the word wudu’ in the hadith of Abu Hurayra (as explained above) refers to the washing of the hands and the mouth and nor to the technical meaning of wudu’. However. the compulsion of 43 bathing no longer remains. “By Allah! I know so many hadiths that I can go on narrating for a very long time. “Toward the latter part of his life. I fear I would also fall into the same abyss. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani describes this as the unanimous opinion of the People of the Sunna [Ahl al-Sunna]. there is a possibility of making a mistake while narrating a hadith. . I have already mentioned the statement of Imrän ibn Husayn.” Likewise. If there are any contradictions on the part of the narrator. Allah provided ease for the Muslims and the masjid was also extended. If I had to narrate. The specialists in the field of hadith have prohibited the people from acting upon the hadiths directly until they have the capability to distinguish between the authentic and the unauthentic. but in spire of this they are prone to making mistakes while narrating.
This is not impossible. 'A'isha and Umm Salama report that at times the Messenger (PBUH) used to be in need of bathing [ghusl] at dawn. he is not permitted to fast on that specific day. . ‘These people are crying over her whereas she is being inflicted with the punishment of the grave!” According to 'A'isha . At times. transmitting. and this was also his personal ruling [fatwa] on the issue. Such narrations are compiled in detail in Fath al-Bari. Sometimes. 'A'isha rejected this view. we have already previously mentioned the case in which Abdullah ibn Umar said. a group of narrators relate that the salat is nullified if a woman or dog passes in front of one performing 48 salät. but he 47 would fast on those days as well. According to the Hanafis. However. We beseech the assistance of Allah alone. One such example involves a narration from Abdullah ibn Umar which states that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) performed ‘umra in the month of Rajab. under the chapter dealing with fasting.” In addition. Similarly. Abu Hurayra says if a person is in need of a compulsory bath [ghusl] at the time of true dawn [subh sadiq]. saying this narration is incorrect. If it is conforming to the juridical principles. she said. The one who does this is quite proud of his own knowledge in spite of his ignorance. he considers the services of an analyst as dispensable. who insisted that Ibn Umar had erred in narrating the hadith. or shelter from her husband.27 There are scores of examples of such errors in the books of hadith. Finally. one of the reasons for the contradiction of narrations stems from the differences in how the hadiths were preserved. otherwise it will not. even the most intelligent person can become confused with comprehending. those narrating the hadiths tended to slip up in their narrations. Likewise. He remarked. All of these incidents also verify what I have repeatedly indicated: that the only person who can practice upon the hadith directly is the one who has the capacity to recognize right from wrong. “The deceased is punished in his grave if his family cries or mourns over him. clothing. or relating the meaning of a statement. One of the rules is to compare the narration with other narrations. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not perform any 46 'umra in the month of Rajab. the hadith that is in greater conformance with the Qur’an will be awarded preference over the hadith that is not as conforming to it. their crying had nothing to do with her punishment. When 'A'isha heard of his account. “How can I relinquish a Qur'anic 49 verse for the statement of one woman? To sum up.. even if the latter has relatively more reliable narrators or there are other narrations supporting it. This is why the scholars have laid down stringent rules for accepting the narration of a lone narrator. Fatima bint Qays narrated that a woman who has been issued an irrevocable divorce has no right to claim food. “Ibn Umar has forgotten. in opposition to this. It is quite bewildering to note that to determine the purity of gold. one avails himself of the services of a bullion dealer. There are many such cases in which the narrators erred in spite of being reliable and truthful. but to practice upon the hadiths. the commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari. He narrates this (ruling) from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) passed by a deceased Jewish woman who was being mourned over by her family members. the hadith is as follows: “On one occasion. According to her. When Umar heard this he remarked. it will be accepted.” His report was rejected by 'A’isha. The aforementioned incident of Umar also supports one of the principles of the Hanafi school.
he refrained from informing him. but taking the literal words into account. Anas narrates. above and beyond the consideration of their actual meaning. he called for a new set of clothes and put them on. They were wholly befitting of the poem: If the Almighty had to bestow me with unlimited hearts. I would have sacrificed a hundred for every action. They were prepared to lay down a hundred lives for every action of his. He thereafter said.. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) pointed to one of the doors of the masjid [al-Nabawi] and remarked. “I heard Allah's Messenger (PBUH) saying that a person will be resurrected on the Day of 50 Judgment. these examples seem dubious. “The Messenger of Allah passed by the house of a Companion who had added an additional room to it. This was one of the main reasons why the Companions used to narrate even the abrogated hadiths. This is discussed under the commentary of the Quranic verse. he did not even inform Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) of his action: out of shame and remorse. but one who has “had a sip from the fountain of love. Above that. On the surface. he declined to reply to his salam. “It would have been a good idea to reserve this door for the exclusive use of the women. of the hadiths. the Messenger (PBUH) did not utter a word. The Messenger of Allah only learnt of it when he happened to pass by the same house on another occasion.28 Reason 4 LOVE FOR ALLAH’S MESSENGER (PBUH) Companions were the real devotees and ardent followers of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Once. so shall We return it” (Surat al-Anbiya 21:104) This meaning is established on the grounds of many hadiths. The books of hadith are replete with such examples. - . when Abu Sa'id al-Khudri was on his death-bed. but he chose to act on the literal meaning of the hadith and wear the new clothes. The Companion made salam many times. he immediately went home and demolished the extended room. When informed by the others about what had transpired earlier.” From then on. they used to adhere to it. it has been established by famous hadiths that everyone will be resurrected naked on the Day of Judgment. He was aware of it. Abdullah ibn Umar never entered the masjid by that door." will clearly understand the importance of even the apparent worth of his beloved. They at times were quite aware that this was not what he meant. but to no avail. The relationship the Companions enjoyed with Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) cannot be expressed in words. Likewise. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) asked who the house belonged to. Every one of the most seemingly trivial incidents that transpired while they were in the company of the Messenger (PBUH) is a testament to their devotion to him.” On the contrary.” The Companions used to accept even the outward meaning of the words of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). “As We commenced the initial creation. When the Companion in question appeared before Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . It would be preposterous to suggest that Abü Said al-Khudri was unaware of the meaning. On being informed.with the clothing he dies in.
which resemble four other things. my teacher. before you set out to pursue any field. and (4) the conditions of all the narrators who narrate hadiths. (2) the sayings of the Companions and their relative ranks. ‘I have not heard anything from them.” I said. love for the Messenger (PBUH) and his words). I went to Imam Bukhãri (may Allah be pleased with him) and explained my intentions to him.” He said. Allah will honor him with four things in this world and award him four things in the hereafter. And remember that a person cannot become a perfect scholar in the science of hadith [muhaddith] until and unless he writes four things with four other things. Once all these things are achieved. with four conditions. from four types of people. Allama Suyuti relates (through his chain) that Muhammad ibn Ahmad said: “When Abu ‘l-Abbas Walid ibn Ibrahim was deposed as the chief justice of Rayy (formally of the great cities of Persia located a few miles from Tehran) and he came to Bukhãrã.29 On the outside. (3) the sayings of the Followers and their ranks (i. The rules and regulations set out for the teachers and hadith scholars are even more stringent. The Advice of Imam Bukhari to the Seeker of Hadith Even though the issue at hand is growing more long-winded. who among them are reliable and who are not).e. there are many such hadiths which were narrated in spite of the fact that their apparent meanings were unanimously declared obsolete. spurred by the necessity of the present discussion. He replied. ‘When I became a rational and mature adult and I developed a passion toward the science of hadith. let alone an accomplished shaykh or scholar of hadith [muhaddith]. upon four things. These (four pieces of information) must be written together with the following four things: (1) the actual names of the narrators. The four things he has to write are: (1) the statements and commands of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). we understand why the hadith scholars have laid down such stringent rules and regulations for acquiring the science of hadith. “Certainly. ‘How can you say that you have not heard anything from them whereas you are a deeply-read scholar?’ Walid then related his story saying. it seems senseless to propagate abrogated hadiths (but such was their. Similarly. They have even laid down principles and conditions for the seekers of this science. make sure you are well-grounded with its prerequisites and demands. Abü Ibrãhim Al-Khatalli took me with him to see Walid. From this. If he exercises patience in these four trials. All of these four-angled things can only be achieved with another four things coupled with another four. and why they were so cautious before saying or writing anything on this subject. and for four objectives.. My teacher requested him to narrate those hadiths to me which he had heard from his teachers [mashä’ikh]. . four things will become insignificant before him and he will be tried with four other things. (He must write these things) in four times. He advised me thus. “Son. I will narrate a remarkable quote from Imam Bukhãri (may Allah be pleased with him) which will enlighten the reader on the diligence required to become a seeker of hadith. Please explain these four-angled things for me.’ My teacher was quite shocked and remarked. “May Allah have mercy upon you. which are as indispensable as four things. in four places.
and (4) in his old age. he must continue acquiring hadiths at all times throughout every stage of his life? They must be written) under four conditions: (1) while his is occupied. (3) as (the recitation of) bismillah (is necessary) with a süra (of the Qur’an). and (4) as the takbir (is necessary) with the salat. and (4) the maqtu'at [narrations traceable only to a Follower]. and (4) their dates of birth and death (to determine whether the narrator actually met the people he has narrated from). (3) in his poverty. and (4) in his affluence. (These things must all be written) jn four times: (1) in his childhood. (are necessary) with mention of the name of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). (2) as salutations [salawat]. (In other words.. (2) in his age of discernment (i. (2) while he is free. close to maturity). (2) the mursalat [narrations transmitted by a Follower from the Messenger directly without a Companion in between].e. These resemble four other things (which are names of four categories of hadith): (1) the musnadat [narrations traceable to the Messenger]. . (3) in his youth.30 (2) their appellations or titles [kuna]. (3) the mawqufat [narrations traceable only to a Companion ]. (These are indispensable to him) just (as four things are necessary with four other things:) (1) as praises [tahmid] of Allah (are necessary) with the khutba. (3) their places of residence.
(2) lexicography and vocabulary. (In other words.31 (In other words. (3) in cities. (3) upon skins.. (3) from his counterparts. This is done) at four places: (1) in mountainous terrain. and (4) to write it out so that it can be a source of guidance to those who will come after him. he must endeavour to acquire this science from the right teacher. (2) to practice upon the hadiths which confirm to the verses of the Holy Qur’an. he endeavours to acquire this science in every way possible without feeling ashamed to obtain it even from his juniors. (3) to propagate (the science) to those who seek it. and (4) in rural areas. (In other words. Thereafter. . He has four objectives for doing all of these things :) (1) to acquire (this science) solely for the pleasure of Allah . and (4) from the books of his father. (2) from his juniors. provided he has firm conviction that these are his father’s books. (He acquires it from four different types of people :) (1) from his seniors. he must diligently pursue the knowledge of these things no matter what his circumstances may be. no matter where that teacher is located. the aforementioned four things cannot be acquired (unless he has first acquired) four other things that are part of human acquisition: (1) the knowledge of how to read and write. even when be does not find paper he will continue recording it somewhere) until he finds the paper upon which to preserve it. He writes what he has acquired) upon four things: (1) upon stones. (2) upon shells. (In other words. and (4) upon bones. (2) on the seas.
(2) his friends will reproach him. (3) the ignorant will taunt him.32 (3) morphology.) Allah will honor him with four things in the hereafter: (1) the honor of intercession on behalf of whomever he pleases. Allah will honor him with four things in this world: (1) the honor of contentment [qana'a]. (3) an ardent desire for learning.. (2) ability. Once he exercises patience on these calamities. (2) the shade of the throne of Allah on the day when there will be no shade available except the shade of His throne. and (4) a retentive memory. and (4) close proximity with the Prophets [anbiya'] in the Highest of the High Places [a’lã ‘illiyyin]. Together with four other things that are not of human acquisition. and (4) syntax. then four things will become insignificant before him: (. but are bestowed by Allah : (1) sound health. (On top of that. He will then be afflicted with four things: (1) his enemies will rejoice at his distress. (3) the pleasure of sacred knowledge ['ilm] and (4) eternal life. (2) conviction coupled with awe and dignity. (3) the privilege to provide water to whomsoever he pleases from the pool of Muhammad [al-Kawthar]. . and (4) the scholars [ulamà] will be jealous of him. Once all the aforementioned four-angled things are attained by him.
” These are the principles and rules Imam Bukhäri has laid out for every individual who wishes to become a hadith scholar or a student of hadith. According to the Hanafi school. so I will now return to our previous discussion. the jurists of the later centuries [muta’akhkhirin] have prohibited us from issuing any religious verdicts [fatawa] based on our own opinions. All I would say at this point is that an excessive number of links is a major cause for differences. This is why the hadith scholars have considered a hadith with a smaller number of links as having a preferential factor over other hadiths. a fact which one can determine logically. the more the disparities between them increased. from among the numerous reasons for the differences of opinions. an inconsistency in the message is bound to occur. If Allah wills. among other reasons. This increase is quite rational because (as an Urdu expression goes) “The more the mouths. In other words.” The extent to which this group of half-baked molwis [scholars graduating from madrasas] has made a mock of our religion [din] cannot be found in the time of our predecessors. In order to clarify this. If you relay a message to someone and there are many links involved in conveying the message. Now you have the choice to either pursue this field or to abstain from it. The more the links in conveying the hadiths increased. But alas! In these times. traditionally. let alone ordinary concerns. where the maximum extent of education in this science is (normally limited to studying) the six authentic books of hadith [sihah sitta] for one to call himself a hadith scholar. The reason for this is quite clear as well. the more the statements. I will explain this in detail at some other point. Our present times of extreme negligence and laziness. even if we were to search for it.33 So now. Instead. In actual fact. To Allah alone do we complain and He alone is the Helper.. the dates of birth and death of the famous Imams are listed below: . can be likened to “a monkey who has a bit of turmeric powder and wishes to be called a grocer. practically and through sound discernment. In the second era. During the times of the Companions [sahaba].” Reason 5 EXCESSIVE LINKS BETWEEN NARRATORS The fifth reason for differences is basically due to the excessive number of links in conveying the hadiths (between the time of the Messenger (PBUH) and the current era). the further we moved away from the era of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . In fact. This subject is out of our present range of discussion. I have told you whatever I have heard from my teachers [mashä’ikh]. the jurisprudence [fiqh] of Imam Abü Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) is awarded preference over the jurisprudence and statements of the other jurists and hadith scholars because. mujtahid Imams and the hadith scholars [muhaddithin]. I have sufficed by mentioning a few reasons. the more the reasons for these differences also increased. the science of hadith is even more difficult to attain than Imam Bukhãri (may Allah be pleased with him) describes. they have advised us to transcribe the verdicts from similar religious verdicts of the past. there are relatively fewer links between him and Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). even the most intricate of scholastic issues. my son. Followers [tabi'in]. We should take heed of Imam Bukhãri’s advice and hold firmly onto it. The main cause for this current degeneration among the scholars stems from our confidence in our virtues and our reliance upon our defective and unsound knowledge. have become subjected to the people’s whims and fancies. Followers of the Followers [atba' al-tabi’in]. the reasons that led to differences of opinion increased.
Some narrators were such that their books or their memories could be relied upon. he should be well aware of the conditions of its narrator. This is why the Imams of hadith have concluded that if a person wishes to practice upon a particular hadith. Among other things. of any of the hadiths appearing in the Sunan collections of Imam Abü Dãwüd. Contrast this with the era of Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with them): not even a period of one hundred years separates them from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). but due to some problem or other. (he) is still not permitted to employ a particular hadith to prove something until he verifies the continuation of the link of narrators and studies the conditions of its narrators. Nasã’i Ibn Mäja and in the Musannafs of Ibn Abi Shayba or Abd al-Razzaq’ ibn alHumans. there were relatively more narrators (at that time). This is also one of the major reasons why the learned elders [mashã’ikh] prohibit the ordinary laymen from practicing upon a hadith directly without the consent of the scholars. either due to a weak memory or due to some other disorder. Due to the excessive number of links in a narration. they began making blunders in their narrations and narrating incorrectly. . it is quite evident that since a period of two hundred years separates Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) from Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim. and other hadith books which have many weak narrations and that person has tile capability to differentiate between the authentic and’ unauthentic. Reason 6 WEAK NARRATORS The sixth reason is caused by the weakness of a narration.34 Imam Abu Hanifa Malik Shafi'i Ahmed bin Hanbal Bukhari Muslim Abu Dawud Tirmidhi Nasa'i Ibn Maja Birth 80 AH 95 AH 150 AH 164 AH 194 AH 204 AH 202 AH 209 AH 214 AH 209 AH Death 150 AH 179 AH 204 AH 241 AH 256 AH 261 AH 275 AH 279 AH 303 AH 273 AH Age 70 84 54 77 62 57 73 70 89 64 From this table. This consequently brought about more differences in the wording of the narrations. Some narrators have a tendency to narrate something very different from what they heard.. Tirmidhi. Imam Nawawi writes in his commentary on al-Arba’in: "The person who wishes to prove anything on the basis. since the compilation of the various hadith books only began in the second century. a weak or unreliable narrator sometimes finds his way into the chain of narrators. there are bound to be many links between them. Also.. an excessive number of links is one of the causes for differences between narrations.
) people began fabricating hadiths willfully.35 If he does not possess these capabilities. He later received divine guidance to repent for all his wrongdoings. (At that time." At a later stage we will. we would fabricate a hadith accordingly. This is why many hadith scholars compiled books focusing only on fabricated hadiths (in order to expose them as unauthentic). he is compelled to fallow an Imam and he is not permitted to draw his own deductions from the hadiths. many of the fabricators used to concoct false hadiths. This is so obvious that it does not require any explicit mention. gave way to the era of falsehood and fabrications. He advised. whatever differences do occur in the accepted narrations will still be considered minimal (compared to what the situation could have been). and we used to consider leading you astray to be a meritorious act.” Masih ibn Jahm narrates the incident of an innovator [mubtadi] who. . How can a person who is unable to distinguish between the reliable and unreliable practice upon a narration? Reason 7 FABRCATION OF HADITHS The eera of the best of generations [khayr al-qurun] (i. when he repented. the first three generations of Muslims). between the hadith that abrogates and the one that is abrogated. and between the general statements and the specifying statements of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . as foretold by Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). When we (the Khawarij) wanted to propagate something. Inspired by their vested interests. lest he should fall into falsehood. Consequently. Ibn Lahi'a says. we used to fabricate a narration accordingly. explain in a more detail that most of the jurists and hadith. scholars have explicitly concluded that a person cannot be permitted to practice upon hadith directly if he does not have the capacity to differentiate between the reliable and unreliable. taking an oath. said: “We had fabricated many baseless narrations which you narrated from us. Allah willing. ‘Before you accept a hadith. Hãfiz ibn Hajar (may Allah be pleased with him) has made particular mention of such incidents in his book Lisan.e. make sure you study the conditions of its narrators.” The hadith scholars have recorded many similar statements.” Hammãd ibn Salama (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the statement of a Rãfidi (a member of the Shiite Twelver sect): “Whenever any proposals used to be passed in our gatherings. “There was a person who was once a leader [shaykh] of the Khawãrij (a deviated sect)..
This was one of the main reasons 'Umar placed constraints on lecturing during his time. The Sufis. Some of these fabricators used to fabricate solely for what they called the preservation of their ideology [din]. One of them was Abd al-Karim ibn AbI al-Awja’. the others in turn accepted their narrations. a preacher [wa'iz] began narrating hadiths attributed to these two Imams during his lecture. The preacher replied. At the termination of his lecture. Their stories are mentioned in detail in the books dealing with fabricated hadiths. While he was being hung he said. such as the Rãfidis. or even four links in a chain of narrators (for a hadith). preachers tended to fabricate hadiths merely to add a bit more spice to their lectures.” While this was taking place. The narrations of the Preachers can also be found in the books dealing with fabricated hadiths. there is no problem with the narration.” Some people used to fabricate hadiths merely to appease a king or a leader. etc. “I am Yahya ibn Ma'in and this is Ahmad ibn Hanbal. salat.” . This is why the hadith scholars have laid down. In fact. the Khawãrij. Hammãd ibn Zayd said. Yahya asked. it is better to remain silent. he had simply made use of their good names. Under the false impression that he was being summoned to be rewarded.” replied Yahya. Since the Sufis were regarded as reliable people. Yahya ibn Ma'in beckoned the preacher with his hand to come over to them. “How can you be under the impression that the names ‘Yahya ibn Ma'in and ‘Ahmad ibn Hanbal’ refer only to you two? I have heard hadiths from seventeen people by the names Yaliyã ibn Ma'in and Almad ibn Hanbal. One of the categories of hadith which has come under criticism by the Imams includes the hadiths of the Sufis and the Preachers [wã'izin]. some people believed that it was permissible to fabricate hadiths with intent to create a yearning in the hearts of the people toward the delights of the hereafter.” Many a time. readily accepted all types of narrations. the rule stating that if a person is known to have inclinations to the Rafidi sect. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma'in (may Allah be pleased with them) once went into a certain masjid to offer their salat. or to instill fear in them of the catastrophes of doomsday. he came over to them. “So you are Yahya ibn Ma’in?” “Surely that is me. Imam Muslim (may Allah be pleased with him) has dealt with this topic extensively in the introduction to his Sahih. Upon this. Similar is the case of the “Hadiths of the Preachers. However. who was hung in the time of (the Abbasi) Caliph Mahdi. Considering such narrations to be authentic. Abü Nuaym writes in AI-Hilya that Imam Zuhri said. his narrations regarding the household [ahl al-bayt] of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) will not be accepted. After the. Since these two personalities were very famous in the world of hadith. The preacher then asked. “I had fabricated four thousand hadiths in which I had made many unlawful things lawful and vice versa. among other principles.” “How is this confirmation possible?” asked Yahya. “When there are two. We did not narrate these hadiths to you nor have we ourselves heard them (from someone else). “The hypocrites have fabricated fourteen thousand hadiths. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal covered his face out of grief while the lecturer brushed the whole incident off as a joke and vanished. he commented. This ignorant fool did not even know who he was talking to.. he mentioned their names. they used to transmit them to others. “I always heard that Yahyã ibn Ma'in is a stupid fool but today this hearsay has been confirmed. “Who narrated these hadiths to you?” Once again. having good thoughts of all and sundry. Yahya said.36 Some Reasons for the Fabrication of hadiths My objective in relating a few of these incidents is to point out that the fabricators themselves have confessed to concocting hadiths. the moment the chain exceeds this number. three.
This creates contradictions between the narrations. what will then be the situation with fabricated statements?” These were the reasons which prompted the scholars to compile special books on fabricated hadiths. a narrator himself is trustworthy and reliable. Many a time. many of which are not worth delving into before a mainstream audience. who may not possess the full intellectual capacity needed to grasp these extremely complex issues. our past scholars considered certain branches of knowledge mandatory even before one ventures into the field of hadith. “If you narrate such hadiths to a group of people who are unable to understand what you are saying. When this is the case with true and authentic statements. ‘Therefore. The principles of hadith and jurisprudence [usul al-hadith and usül al-fiqh] are particularly singled out as prerequisites for the field of hadith. ‘Those who specialize in the principles of hadith study [usul al-hadith] have explicitly mentioned that Hammãd ibn Salama’s books had been tampered with by his adopted son Abü al-Awjã’.” Hafiz Zayn al-Din al-Iraqi says. the common laypeople are unable to fathom what is being said. Zayn al-Iraqi said. This reason is also quite similar to the previous reason. Reason 8 TAMPERING WITH SOUND NARRATIONS. This knowledge would develop a capacity to understand the hadiths. “The annihilation of the Bani Isrã’il was also triggered by their indulging in (baseless) sermons. Also. they also compiled books on fabricated hadiths.” Abdulläh ibn Masüd says. this discussion has remained brief. though the actual narrator himself is reliable. There is a risk that some people may develop evil thoughts of the hadiths due to their lack of understanding and awareness of juridical [shar'i] knowledge. a hadith was added into the books of Mu’ammar by one of his nephews who converted to the Rafidi sect. for this reason. Apart from the aforementioned reasons. there are many other reasons for the differences of opinions. nor does every individual have the capacity to grasp its reality. to ensure that those who came after them do not fall into a trap of deception. “One of the shortcomings of the Preachers [wa'izin] is their tendency to lecture to the laymen on issues which they (the laymen) are unable to understand. and he would be able to assess the truthfulness of the hadiths as well.. This eventually leads to corrupt beliefs. “One of the predicaments of the Preachers [wa'izin] is their tendency to narrate anything and everything before the masses. Similarly. The subject matter that we are dealing with is not so simple that it can be explained to all people. but a malicious or antagonistic person tampers with his writings and brings about certain changes. narration only occurred because of some other conspiracy. Just as they compiled books on authentic hadiths. This background knowledge would enable a person to understand the reality of the hadiths. This is why the scholars have prohibited the explanation of certain complicated issues to the laymen. Often. That is why his (other) narrations are not rejected: he confusion in his. it will be a cause of turmoil [fitna] .37 Khabbab ibn al-Aratt narrates that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. This in turn leads to corrupt beliefs. There are many other such incidents mentioned in the books of the hadith scholars.
and Imam Bukhãri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates something to this effect from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. On the other hand. PART THREE . they sifted through all the reliable narrations. these have no longer remained very sensitive issues because the scholars of hadith have already sifted through the hadiths. and he preceded Imam Bukhâri. For example. such sifting through the volumes of hadiths was obviously bound to bring in its wake differences of opinion among the Imams. separating the preponderant [ràjih] from the preponderated [marjuh] and the abrogating hadiths [nasikh] from the abrogated [mansukh]. In conclusion. I will now terminate the discussion of the differences of opinion in the second era. and these led to differences in their schools of thought as well. However. They selected all the reliable [mu'tabar] narrations and rejected the fabricated and unreliable ones. Imam Bukhãri selected the hadiths compiled in his book from a collection of six hundred thousand hadiths. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was the last of the four Imams. SUMMARY OF THE DIFFERENCES IN THE SECOND ERA At this juncture.38 to them. we will now briefly explain the reasons which led to the differences of opinion among the Imams of jurisprudence. or that a narrator may be considered reliable by one of them and not by the others. and owing to the appearance of many weak narrations. The era of the four mujtahid Imams predates even the era of Imam Bukhäri. the Imams of hadith and jurisprudence [fiqh] realized the urgent need for sifting through all the hadiths. and Imam Abu Dãwüd from a total of five hundred thousand hadiths. and there were not so many differences in the narrations as we have today. a fact which is quite natural and acceptable. due to the aforementioned reasons for the differences in narrations. This is why the Imams of jurisprudence had differences in their views.” Imam Muslim (may Allah be pleased with him) has also mentioned this in the introduction to his book. differences in the actual texts of the narrations also increased. Eighteen reasons were mentioned from the first era and eight from the second era. Weak Hadiths in the Later Generations In our times. they are also intellectually compatible. in fact there may not be any. Thereafter. This is why there were fewer weak hadiths in their era. On that note. This is one of the main reasons why there are so few weak narrations. As time went along and the links in the chains of narrators increased. Apart from these reasons being obvious. They have separated the fabricated from the authentic and distinguished the reliable from the unreliable. Imam Muslim selected his from a collection of three hundred thousand.. This was so because he lived during the second century. Every one of them realized that certain narrators may be acceptable to one of them and not acceptable to the others. many weak narrations found their way into the book compiled by Imam Daraquni because he compiled his collection of hadiths at a much later stage. The main objective of this section was to demonstrate the reasons contributing to the vast differences found in the hadiths. in Imam Bukhäri’s Collection.
THE ERA OF THE MUJTAHID IMAMS & SOME PRINCIPLES OF HADITH AND JURISPRUDENCE
THE MAIN REASON FOR THE DIFFEENCES BETWEEN THE IMAMS
As explained in the previous section, there were some changes made on the part of the narrators in reporting their hadiths. These changes were either intentional or unintentional, and occurred (within the narration itself) either in transmitting, or in a person’s understanding of the narration. To account for this, a need was felt by the Imams of hadith and jurisprudence to assess all the narrations and choose some of the narrations over the others. The Imams awarded preference to the correct and reliable narrations based on their own research. At the same time, they rendered the unreliable narrations unworthy of implementation. It is an accepted fact that the opinions of the mujtahids are extracted from the teachings of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Often, their views were extracted from the explicit texts of the Shari'a. At times, certain injunctions were deduced on the basis of a particular cause found in the speech of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). In short, specific rules and principles are required for practicing on the hadiths which enable one to award preference to some hadiths over others. The Imams of hadith and jurisprudence have differed over the matter of which principles apply in awarding this preference. It is a very lengthy discussion which we would prefer not to discuss in detail (here). In fact, the principles of hadith and jurisprudence are taught even before the major hadith books in our madrasas.
Some Principles of Hadith TYPES OF HADITHS
Some of these principles will be mentioned briefly. The Imams of hadith, due to the aforementioned reasons, have divided the hadiths into three different categories: mutawatir [continuously recurrent], mashhür [well-known], and khabaral-wahid [a single person’s report] or ahãd [solitary hadith]. A mutawatir hadith is one for which the narrators are so numerous in any given era that it is virtually impossible for such a large number of people to agree on a fabrication or an error. Examples of this include the existence of Bombay and Calcutta, the number of rak'ats in salat, or the number of fasts (to be observed in Ramadan). The second type of hadith is called mashhür. This category is similar to mutawatir in some respects, but since there is very little or no difference of opinion regarding these two types of hadiths, we will not discuss them in much detail here. The only difference of opinion lies in the number of narrators required for a mutawatir narration and
whether a mashhür narration should be classified in the category of mutawatir or khabar al-wahid, or whether it should be a separate category. At this juncture, we only wish to discuss the third type of hadith, i.e. khabar al-wahid. This category refers to those hadiths which do not reach the standards of mutawatir. Most narrations fall under this category. First of all, this type of narration is divided into two types: accepted [maqbul] and rejected [mardud]. The great hadith master Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani says, “Besides mutawatir hadiths—which are undoubtedly acceptable—all other types of hadiths can be divided into two categories: maqbul and mardud. Maqbul is that type of hadith upon which practicing is obligatory. Mardud is that hadith the reliability of which supersedes its unreliability. Therefore, a hadith which is comprised of contradictory angles, in other words some angles pointing to its authenticity and reliability and others indicating its unreliability, will fall under the category of rejected [mardud]. However, if the angles warranting its acceptability are predominant then the hadith will fall under the category of reliable [maqbul]." Thereafter, Ibn Hajar says that a rejected [mardüd] hadIth is not necessary to practice upon [wäjib al-’amal]. However, acceptable [maqbul] hadiths are of two types: those that are necessary to practice upon [wãjib a1-’amal] and those that are not necessary to practice upon [ghayr wäjib a1-àmaI]. In other words, a hadith can technically be an accepted hadith [maqbul], but due to some reason or another it is not necessary to practice upon it. Ibn Hajar further states, “At times an accepted hadith is not necessary to practice upon in spite of it being an accepted hadith, because of its contradiction with another hadith. In such a case, both hadiths will be compared to see if some harmony can be brought about between both. For instance, the scholars have brought about some harmony in the following two contradictory hadiths. The first hadith states, ‘There is no such thing as contagious 51 52 diseases in Islam,’ while another hadith states, ‘Flee from a leper as you would flee from a lion.’ There is an apparent contradiction between these two hadiths, (though) both of them are authentic and reliable. The scholars have brought about some harmony between these two hadiths in various forms. Our aim at this juncture is not to elaborate on their opinions. All we wish to say is that where there is an apparent contradiction, the first and foremost step will be to bring about some harmony between them. Conversely, if no harmony can be brought about between them, then we will assess whether one has precedence over the other, either in terms of its date or its occurrence. If this can be established, then the latter of the two will be accepted and practiced upon. If this is not possible, we would search for an external reason to grant preference to one over the other. However, if this proves futile, both narrations—in spite of being authentic—would be included in the category of rejected [mardud] hadiths, because of their apparent contradiction.
THE BASIS OF REJECTION AND PREFERENCE
At this juncture, two points have attracted lengthy discussions from the scholars: the basis of rejection, i.e. the causes that render a hadith weak and unreliable; and the basis of preference. In other words, on what basis will one narration have preference over another in the case of two narrations that, in spite of being apparently contradictory, are both authentic?
Under these two extensive points of discussion, there have obviously been many other minor differences of opinion among the scholars. This is evident from the rules mentioned above. Let us examine the case of two apparently contradictory hadiths. These two hadiths will not necessarily be considered contradictory to every single knowledgeable person. In fact, at the very outset, the meaning of one of the two hadiths, according to a mujtahid, may not be contradictory to the other hadith. However, even if there is some contradiction between the hadiths, it does not necessarily mean that there cannot be some harmony brought about between them. There is a possibility, according to some people that harmony can be brought between them, though others may disagree. Once it is established that harmony cannot be brought about between them, it is obvious that differences of opinion are bound to occur regarding which of the hadiths should be given preference over the other. This is so because there is a possibility that one of the mujtahids will present such an analysis that renders one of them to be the latter category [nasikh], thereby abrogating the other. On the other hand another mujtahid may not reach such a conclusion. However, if it cannot be established that one is the abrogator and the other is the abrogated, then once again differences of opinion will occur as to whether one of the two narrations can be preferred over the other due to certain other reasons. We will discuss this briefly at a later stage. Such differences of perspective among the mujtahids are quite natural and understandable. For instance, a narrator narrates a hadith. Zayd considers the narrator to be a reliable person while Amr regards the narrator to be a liar. In another case, Zayd considers this narrator to be intelligent, whereas Amr regards him to be dull of perception. There could be many other reasons for these differences of opinion in this case; the narrator’s hadith is acceptable according to Zayd, whereas Amr dismisses him as unreliable. In short, due to the aforementioned reasons, many differences of opinion have occurred among the Imams of hadith and jurisprudence [fiqh] in many of the by-laws of Islam. Our objective in briefly explaining this is to expose the reasons for the differences of opinion among the scholars. In these circumstances, one has either of two alternatives. The first is that he has the capability to assess all the reasons for the differences of opinion and he is in a position to award preference to one over the other and practice accordingly. He has the authority to do this and, Allah-willing, he will be rewarded for his efforts. Such a person is referred to as a mujtahid. On the other hand, if he does not have this capability to grant preference to some of those opinions over others, the next option is to follow a knowledgeable person. Even under normal everyday circumstances, if a person does not know the road, he tends to follow someone who knows. However, before following anybody, one should examine the person he is following. Is he himself aware, or is he lost like his followers? If a person changes his leader at every cross-road, there is nothing but misguidance in store for him. This is why the scholars have compelled the masses to follow one particular scholar, and they have prohibited them from following various scholars at random.
ASSESSMENT OF A NARRATOR
Nonetheless, due to the aforementioned reasons, the scholars have differed greatly on two different aspects of the hadiths.
in other words. it is not an absolute rule that wherever a narrator is removed from the chain. Apart from these.42 First. Hence. that hadith will be considered weak and the injunction that hadith mentions will not be established On the other hand. this may be true according to the opinion of some people while others may consider him to be truthful and consider the error to be that of other narrators (in the chain). However.. wherever one of those points is found in any of the hadith. another group of scholars may not consider these points as factors that weaken a hadith. they are as follows: (1) He narrates incorrectly in most cases. according to some scholars. the hadiths that contain these points are not weak . if a narrator removes one of the links from the chain of narrators. If a narrator is accused of having one of the above ten defects. (4) He narrates contrary to other reliable narrators. First of all. As for the five relating to his memory. on what grounds a hadith can be considered untenable.g. There is more detail to this point. while the other five are related to his memory [hifz]. (5) He is unknown. according to others. if a narrator is accused of speaking lies. he is a fornicator) or it could be in speech (e. there are many other angles from which the scholars have differed over which factors would render a hadith weak. The hadith scholars have counted ten different reasons for the defectiveness of a hadith. he is thereby considered unreliable and the hadith is rendered weak. if a narrator is guilty of reprehensible innovation [bid'ati]. This could either be in deed (e.g. For example. The scholars have differed on the aforementioned ten factors from two different angles. (2) He has a tendency to be negligent when narrating. The five relating to his reliability are as follows: (1) He is a liar. Hence. Is he a Companion or is he someone else? They will also examine the person who removed that link: is he reliable or unreliable? Similarly. One group may consider certain points as contributing to the weakness of a hadith. (3) He is a flagrant violator of Islamic law [fasiq]. will this render his narration unconditionally weak. The scholars will first examine who the missing link is. they have differed on the basis of assessment [ta'n] of a narrator. For example. (2) He is accused of lying. they have differed as to how these factors will render a hadith weak. the hadith is weak. Five of these are related to a narrator’s reliability ['adala]. he is a backbiter). there are other angles of differences among the scholars. or will his narration be unacceptable only when he narrates according to his innovation [bid'a]? The second angle from which the scholars have differed deals with whether or not a narrator actually possesses the defect mentioned about hint. (3) He has misgivings about his narration. (4) He is guilty of reprehensible innovation [bid'ati]. (5) His memory becomes impaired. does it really mean that he has that deficiency? For example.
My heart desires to write more in detail on this subject. The author of the Tadhkira writes. This would ensure that ordinary people. Some Principles of Fiqh PRINCIPLES OF THE JURISTS FOR THE VALIDITY OF HADITHS The jurists [fuqaha’] have composed a set of rules for the assessment of the validity of a hadith. This set of principles will differ from the principles set up by the Imams of hadith.43 according to them. act contrary to it.. “There is a very intricate and difficult issue in the field of hadith that. one of the major reasons for the difference of opinion found among the mujtahids is that different Imams have different criteria for establishing the reliability of a hadith. All of these factors can lead to a fatal deficiency in their faith [din]. and many other pious people have misunderstood the meaning of the hadiths. and the injunctions mentioned in those narrations will be established on the basis of those hadiths. This enables the student to understand the reasons why some hadiths have been disregarded. I have tried to be as brief as possible. he will understand why scholars. . It would also ensure that they do not become disinclined to the juridical rulings [masa‘il fiqhiyya]. and that they do not develop any evil thoughts about the hadiths. THE INDISPNSABILITY OF THE PRINCIPLES OP HADITHS To sum up. These are placed under the heading Bäb al-Sunna [Chapter on the Sunna] in the books on principles of jurisprudence [usül al-fiqh]. since the fabricators and the preachers have fabricated many hadiths. in spite of an explicit proposition appearing in a hadith. but since this is an academic topic which would bore the average layman. And Allah guides whom He wills to the straight path. the mujtahids felt a need to establish a set of principles to assess the validity of a hadith.” There are also other factors which render a hadith unreliable. who zealously read the hadiths in translations because they are the speech of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . it is not permissible for him to practice upon the hadiths directly. This is why it has always been my fervent desire to request that the people who teach the translations of the hadiths would at least teach a brief summary on the principles of hadith. At the same time. Until a person has knowledge about them. are not led astray. This is why the scholars of hadith consider it imperative to teach the principles of hadith [usul al-hadith] before teaching the actual books of hadith.
In exactly the same way. The scholars of the principles (of jurisprudence) have clearly stated that just as a certain amount of knowledge is required for the understanding of the Qur’an. If the narrator of any hadith is unknown in the field of hadith. one has to be well-versed in the principles that deal exclusively with the 5adiths.. However. nor should he be guilty of consistently perpetrating minor sins. while at other times it is not. The scholars have differed greatly as to whether the latter type of hadiths compels one to act upon it or not. According to the Mãliki school of thought. These chains render a narration mutawatir. Abdullãh ibn Umar Abdullãh ibn Abbs. and so forth). (2) he should be sane. Abdullãh ibn alZubayr. and he understands the meaning of the hadith while listening to it. at times it is necessary to act upon them. Abdullãh ibn Masüd. “If water heated over fire is used for wudu. whether it is logical or illogical. or is it optional or is the statement giving permission to perform this action? One has to be well-versed in all these principles which deal with the significance of the Qur’an and hadith. Abdullãh did not consider this narration worthy of establishing as an injunction. a certain word in the Qur’än may be common or general. These principles will also expose how unaware the so-called “followers of hadiths” are. he remembers it while he conveys it. The first of these categories deals with the chains of narrators linking us to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). then he will also be considered as a known narrator and his narration will be accepted. there are four conditions for the reliability of a narrator: (1) he should be a Muslim. but after them the number of narrators reached the level of mutawãtir. Each one of these conditions is mentioned in detail in its appropriate place. . that a person should not be a fasiq means that he should not perpetrate major sins. the narrator is one of the Four Caliphs.44 We will briefly explain a few principles of the Hanafi school (in this regard). These principles are divided into a few categories. if the narrator is perceptive and discerning (for example. Is a certain word taken literally. This is why when Abü Hurayra said that the consumption of anything cooked over fire nullifies wudu. Mutawatir hadiths have already been explained [see page 39]. (3) his memory should be sound. Khabar al-wähid refers to that type of hadith which fails to reach the status of mutawatir right up to the last set of narrators. it is not necessary to practice upon it. it could have more than one meaning. there is also a need to understand the rules and principles of hadith study [usül al-fiqh]. according to the Hanafi school of thought. Mashhur is that type of hadith of which the narrators were only one or two individuals from the era of the Companions. For example. However. Similarly. For instance. However. but the other narrators who are narrating from him are reliable. if a hadith of this nature is illogical. then that type of hadith will compel us to practice upon it. his narration will not be accepted if the narration is contrary to other more rational narrations. Abdullah ibn Abbãs. A’isha the Truthful. or it could be confined to a certain meaning only. dismissed his narration by asking. will it be necessary to repeat 53 the wudu’?” Hence. if the narrator is not as well-known in the field of jurisprudence [fiqh]. that a person should be of a sound memory means that he heard the hadith with complete attention. Zayd ibn Thãbit. mashhür or khabar al-wahid. Mu'ãdh ibn Jabal. which will enable us to recognize the necessity of understanding the hadiths. and (4) he should not be a flagrant violator of Islamic law [fasiq]. According to the Hanafi school of thought. or does it have a figurative meaning as well? Is a certain order given as a command.
In addition. the scholars have labeled it an interruption. As for the person who is unaware of both. as well as the issue of when a hadith is worthy of establishing as an injunction and when it is not. Apparent interruption means that a link is missing in the chain of narrators. if a narrator relates only a part of a famous incident and omits the other portion. so how can he guide others?“ . if there is only one witness. the first hadith would not be acceptable. an oath will be taken by the plaintiff in place of the other witness and a judgment can still be passed. For example.. “Salat is not permitted without Surat 54 al-Fatiha. while the same hadith will be rejected by the others because it does not conform to their established standards.” This hadith apparently falls in contradiction to the general verse of the Qur’an. For example. The only person who will be able to come to some decision is the one who is wholly aware of the standards and principles set out by both of these groups. However. “Judgment can be passed with one witness and an oath. but due to their penetrative insight and their respect to the hadiths. or he acts in contrary to his own narration.45 The second category deals with the succession [ittisal] and interruption [inqita'] of a hadith. this hadith is contrary to an authentic hadith which specifies. This form of interruption could also be due to a particular hadith being contrary to a more famous authentic hadith. if a narrator refutes his own narration. instead of the compulsory two witnesses required in court. his hadith is considered dubious. The second form of interruption is called. the defendant should take an oath. at first glance. this is proof enough that the narration is a bit dubious. or he issues religious verdicts [fatawa] against his own narration. This hidden (or rather esoteric) form of interruption can be due to many reasons. he—as the Persians would say—’himself is astray. Whoever wishes to do so should consult their books. This is why the scholars say that the hadith in question has an hidden form of interruption in it. THE MOST BASIC REASON FOR DIFFERENCES In short. there is a hadith that says. It could be because the hadith is contrary to the Qur’an. The scholars have differed on this issue. following discussion among themselves. if the Companions do not accept a certain hadith and. The specialists dealing with the principles of hadith have divided interruption into two types: apparent [zahiri] interruption and hidden [batini] interruption. This has contributed greatly to a difference of opinion among the Imams with regard to the hadiths. etc.) and if he is unable to do so. “A plaintiff is compelled to produce evidence (in the form of witnesses. Similarly. a hidden interruption. This is why many scholars do not include it in the category of interruption. It is not exactly an interruption. all the Imams—whether they are Imams of jurisprudence or hadith—have a specific set of rules for assessing whether or not a hadith should be practiced upon. either among the Companions or the other narrators.” On the basis of the latter narration. The specialists of the principles of hadith have analyzed this matter in great detail. One hadith may be accepted by some scholars because it reaches the standards set by them. “Read from the Qur'an whatever is possible for you [ma tayassara]” (Surat al-Muzzammil 73:20).” In other words. this indicates that the hadith is not acceptable. Likewise. I do not wish to lengthen this subject. there is a hadith that states. they infer their own judgments.
. However. of one of the chapters of Ibn Rushd’s Bidayat al-mujtahid. for instance. The group that prefers a certain hadith might consider another hadith contrary to it as defective. and to refute it is tantamount to unfairness and injustice. and Kashf al-ghumma. conceal the truth from the masses. in spite of having knowledge.46 Quite frankly. etc. In short. stool. The masses of those who do not follow a school of thought are. The Four Schools of Fiqh THE OPINIONS OF THE IMAMS ARE ALL FROM THE HADTHS The status of the Imams is extremely exalted. one of the chief reasons for the differences of opinion among the Imams is the basis of preference. I do have a complaint against the people of knowledge who. there are seven other factors upon which the scholars have differed in this issue. I do not have any complaint against them. alMizan of Allãma Sharäni. ordinary laymen. The only difference lies in the deduction and inferring of rulings [masa’il]. “The basis for the factors which invalidate wudü’ is the verse ‘[. after all. Those people who have studied books dealing with the subject of the differences of the imams. However. Bidayat al-mujtahid. pre-coital fluid.. It does not befit their eminence to act contrary to the hadiths.. Not even an ordinary. However. wind. This is an accepted fact. or reinterpreted. Examples of the Multi -Faceted Methods of Inference Ibn Rushd says. invalidate the wudu. are quite aware of the fact that the opinions of the Imams are all extracted from the very teachings of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).] or if any one of you comes after relieving oneself or you touched women’ and the hadith ’Allàh does not accept the. baseless.. it is quite obvious that when it comes to bringing about harmony between two apparently contradictory hadiths or awarding preference to one over the other. provoke the masses into believing that those who do follow a school of thought do not give much weight to a hadith that is in opposition to the opinions of the Imams. We will reproduce in brief a portion. the opinions of the four revered Imams will take preference over the contemporary scholars. unlearned Muslim would accept the opinion of a great scholar if it were contrary to the hadiths of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). in spite of knowing what is right. Kitãb al-Mughni. They are actually disguising the truth and deceiving the Umma. . I am surprised at the people who do not follow any particular school of thought [ghayr muqallidin] who. salat of the person who has nullified his wudü’ until he performs wudu” On the grounds of this hadith the scholars are unanimous that the passing of urine. which will elucidate the fact that the opinions of the Imarns are all extracted from the’verses of the Qur’an and the 1iadiths: Only the method of inferring differs. Some narrations may be preferred by one group of Imams while other narrations may be preferred by another group of Imams.
They also take support from the hadiths which mention that such a woman performs wudu’. It is not necessary to remove the leather socks (to make wudü’) after passing urine or . and Imam Shãfi'i (may Allah be pleased with them) maintain that even though the hadith only mentions. invalidates the wudu’. Another group of scholars consider the emission of anything from the private parts as the cause of the breaking of wudu’. he performed.e. because the cause (for nullifying the wudu i. The injunction is a general one. According to this group. pre-coital fluid [madhy]. they have differed over the impure substances that are emitted by parts of the body other than the private parts. They are of the opinion that the emission of any normal substance from any of the two private parts. Some of them are of the opinion that sleep unconditionally breaks the wudü while others assert that sleep does not nullify the wudü’ under any circumstance. but is confined to what is actually mentioned. vomiting. the wudu’ wi1l be invalidated. The second aspect of discussion regarding the aforementioned verse on the factors which invalidate wudü’ is sleep. The third group is of the opinion that sleep will break the wudü’ at certain times only. He considers the excess wudü’ for this woman to be an unfounded practice. the hadiths which mention a woman who suffers from dysfunctional uterine bleeding performing wudü’ are reinterpreted or found to be defective by him. the Imams have differed in the narrations as well. according to them. Ibn Abbãs says that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) once went to Maymuna’s house and slept so deeply that they heard him snoring. These differences appeared among the scholars because there are conflicting narrations regarding sleep. such as a worm or insect. sleep does not nullify the wudu’.47 First. Imam Abü Hanifa. However. the command in this verse is not general. This is so. there are many other narrations in contrast to this Safwan ibn Assal narrates that the Messenger of Allah said. the emission of impurity) is present. the wudü’ will still be intact. since they differed over the actual cause of the breaking of the wudü they subsequently differed over which rules are applicable to the factors that invalidate wudu’. and their narrations support this view. One group of scholars considers the emission of impurity to be the cause of the breaking of the wudü’. a woman suffering from dysfunctional uterine bleeding [istihada] should also make wudu'. However. such as urine. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. This view is held by Imam Mãlik (may Allah be pleased with him) and his school. in good health or due to some illness or the other. the emission of any impurity from any part of the body invalidates the wudu such as bleeding of the nose. “whatever comes out of the two private parts” this is merely a sort of prototype or example. On the other hand. Hence.. They hold that the emission of impurity invalidates the wudu regardless of which part of the body emits it. while at other times it will not affect the wudü’ at all. blood-letting. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. The very same verse has been employed by all four Imams in extracting the juridical rulings [masã’il] on wudu However. According to some narrations. This rule. Similarly. They used to nap while waiting for salat. will not apply to anything that comes out of any other part of the body. etc. Hence.. whatever comes out of the private parts. and no matter how it comes out. and Sufyan al-Thawri (may Allah be pleased with them all). there are three schools of thought among the scholars. there is another narration that mentions certain Companions sleeping in the masjid. according to them. if any abnormal substance emerges from any of the private parts. Hence. Due to these differences in principles. according to them. This view is held by Imam Shãfi'i ‘(may Allah be pleased with him) and his school The third group has taken into account the emitted substances as well as the place of emission. salãt without performing wadu'. The scholars have three different opinions on this matter. Regarding this. A group of Companions was also inclined to this view. The people who hold this view are Imam Abü HanIfa and his school. according to Imam Mãlik (may Allah be pleased with him). etc. whether it is blood or pebbles. and then perform the salat without making wudu’. When he awoke.
This is so because of another hadith in which ‘A’isha says. The very basis for the differences found among these Imams regarding this issue is that the word Lams or “touching” (in the verse) is ambiguous. . Aisha was sleeping in front of him and whenever he wanted to go into prostration [sajda]. the verse refers to sexual intercourse. it is a homonym [mushtarak]. At that time there was no lamp or any source of light in his house. From this it is deduced that touching a woman does not nullify the wudu’ Now.48 stool. without performing wudü’ he used to observe his salat. a man’s wudu’ is unconditionally broken. his wudü’ is broken. this kissing stems from lust because a person generally kisses his wife out of desire. This is what prompted the three differing schools of thought among the Companions and Followers . this verse is dealing with the factors which invalidate wudu and the word “lams” refers to touching a woman. Finally. once again. Only when a person touches with lust will his wudü’ become invalid. the question arises as to whether all types of touching nullify the wudü’. or rather. this is a general rule: the wudu’ remains intact despite all types of touching. According to the Hanafis. One group is of the opinion that if a man touches a woman without anything separating them both. This issue has remained one of debate even among the Companions. The word “lams” has a dual meaning in the Arabic language. there is a difference of opinion as to whether this injunction is general or restricted. while the third opinion is held by Imam Abü Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with them all). Wiping [masah] over them is quite sufficient. the Messenger (PBUH) used to move her feet away to enable him to perform sajda (since the room was very small). and he did not repeat his wudu’ after that. Imam Abü Hanifa and Imam Mãlik (may Allah be pleased with them) prove their opinions with the following narration: A’isha relates that on many occasions Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to touch her. According to the third group of scholars. “At times Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to kiss his wives and. by merely touching a woman. However. some of them have found more angles of awarding preference to the first category of hadiths. This is the view of Imam Abü Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him). while the second group awards preference to the second category of hadiths. For instance. the Messenger of Allah was performing tahajjud salat in total darkness. Allah says.. the Imams differed over what sort of injunction should be extracted from this verse as well. The third issue of contention between the scholars is whether the touching of a woman invalidates the wudü’ or not. According to some of them. He restricts it to lust. according to the others. the third group does not find any preferential factor to favor any one of the categories over the other. This group has again been divided into two. the wudü’ is not nullified. the injunction is general. Hence. The second group asserts that this rule is not unconditional. if one touches without lust. Some types of sleep will invalidate the wudu’ while the others will not. this verse does not deal with the factors which invalidate wudu’. Within this group.” Obviously. Imam Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) is of the opinion that this is a restricted injunction. Every one of these Imams has some proof or basis to substantiate his assertion. or only specific types of touching. the wudü’ remains intact under all circumstances if one touches a woman. Consequently. According to the Shãfi'is. Some of them have taken up the path of granting preference to one narration over the other. Abu Hurayra narrates. Among the Imams. Therefore. Imam Shafi'i holds the first opinion and Imain Mãlik is of the second opinion. It refers to sexual intercourse as well as literal touching with the hand. “If you touched [lamastum] a woman” (Surat al-mã’ida 5:6). However. “Wudu’ is obligatory upon one who lies down and sleeps. According to the Mãlikis. either in salat or outside of salat. otherwise it will remain intact. They maintain that the wudü’ is broken only if there is touching by lust.” The scholars have assumed two different stances on these narrations. they have brought about harmony between the hadiths by dividing sleep into various categories. On one occasion. Therefore." Similarly. wiping will not suffice in a state of major impurity [janaba]. or after sleeping.
while the other might consider it mild. one hadith may be regarded as authentic according to the research of one Imam. the same narration may not reach the required stage of reliability according to another Imam. The Parable of the Imams of Hadith The Imams of hadith have likened the critique of the narrators to that of a bullion dealer. The eighteenth type of hadith is the defective [mu'allal] hadith. Similarly. the hadith scholar relating the deficiency in a hadith does not explicitly specify whether any injunction can be deduced from the hadith or not. he needs also to be cognizant of the status of all the narrators and extremely knowledgeable of the chain of narrators as well as the actual texts of the hadiths. trustworthy. Hlikim al-Naysãburi states. However. In exactly the same manner. he can ascertain whether it is genuine or artificial. Summary of the Above Discussion To sum up. there are bound to be differences in practicing upon the narrations as well. This type of hadith is the most important and intricate. the main reason for the differences among the Imams stems from their analysis and evaluation of the various hadiths. For example. From all the various branches of the field of hadith. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Since the basis of the weakness or reliability of a narration is based upon the conditions of its narrators. The nurse attending to the sick person or the followers of the Shari‘a will be advised to adhere to whomever they feel is reliable. . This is further compounded by the various differences regarding the grounds for preference and rejection among the Imams. He further writes. neither the doctors nor the Imams of hadith can be criticized. and he considers whatever to be established from it to be obligatory. This is why a very small group of people has ventured into this field. Daraqutni (may Allah be pleased with them all) are some of the few hadith scholars who ventured into this field. Ali ibn al-Madini. The third doctor might brush it off as a psychological problem. Together with this. Only one gifted by Allah with an ingenious mind and a comprehensive memory can be proficient in this field. Hence. and truthful. all these differences found among the Imams stem from the differences found in the narrations. as I have explained in detail in previous chapters. ‘Allãma Suyutii (may Allah be pleased with him) writes in his Tadrib al-rawi. The metaphor for this is a sick person who seeks the treatment of various doctors. At times. the second Imam does not consider that hadith strong enough to establish an injunction based on the contents of the narration. Allah will assist them. He only has to take the medication prescribed to him by the doctor he is currently seeing. and he will not consider it an illness at all. the most complex and intricate is that of (sifting through) the defective [mu'allal] hadiths. Imam Bukhãri. Only those people who are of perfect memory and proficient in analysis are able to gain some control over this type of hadith. In such circumstances. The moment he sets eyes on the gold.49 In short. these differences are quite in order and are completely logical. Hãfiz ibn Hajar writes in his Sharh Nukhbat al-fikr. Obviously. the patient who has visited various doctors cannot apply all of their treatments together. In reality. a narrator might be considered unreliable and rejected by some. At times.. while others might regard him as reliable. One of them might say his illness is fatal.
or due to his narration being contradictory to other narrators. The defectiveness [‘lila] of a hadith is a reference to a very subtle type of deficiency in a hadith.” Abu Zur’a was once asked. The Imams of jurisprudence [fiqh] are likened to doctors and .. If they tell you the same thing. many deficient so. he accepts what it says. A narration demonstrating a certain law might be accepted by one Imam. How do you go about determining this?” He replied. their inferences are not reliable). My only objective is to expose the fact that the Imams have differed mainly because of the apparent contradictions found in the narrations. go and inquire from ibn Dara and then from Abü Hãtim.” This person did accordingly and he found this to be true. It is better for me to learn of the defectiveness [‘illa] of one hadith than to learn ten new hadiths. besides the ordinary layman. one builds up this proficiency. INFERENCE IN OUR TIMES In our times. the main reason for the differences found among the Imams is due to the difference of the status they give to the law. There might not be any type of apparent deficiency in the hadith. as explained in.50 At times. the above discussion. Allãma Nawawi states. a hadith is considered defective [mu’allal] even though there may not be any apparent factors rendering the hadith as such. In spite of the inferences of the Imams being in contrast to one another. This could be either due to the narrator being alone in the narration of this hadith. According to us the only proof we have for its defectiveness is memory. Ibn Mahdi was once asked. while another hadith contrary to the first one may be accepted by another Imam. They only differ in their angles of inference. hence. it does not mean that they make inference [ijtihad] of the Islamic by-laws according to their own whims and fancies without any proof and basis. acquaintance with sacred knowledge [‘ilm] is a thing of the past. I do not wish to encompass all their opinions in this regard.bearing narrations. and deep understanding of the hadiths.called “intellectuals” are deceptively led to believe that the inferences [ijtihad] of the Imams are contrary to one another (and therefore. If I tell you that any hadith is defective. due to excessive exposure with the hadiths and constant sifting through them. or due to other reasons which the knowledgeable are aware of. Ibn Mahdi states. I have also explained that differences are obviously going to be found in their editing as well as their compilations. but there will be some inconspicuous flaw in it. Hence. They primarily extract all the laws from the hadiths of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). you will understand the reality of it all. “At times you consider some hadiths weak and some of them to be authentic. “On what grounds do you consider same of the hadiths to be weak?” He replied. In short. comprehension. The second Imam considers the second hadith authentic. “When you take your coins to a bullion dealer. do you ask him why he considers some of them to be genuine and some to be counterfeit? In actual fact.
then the view of Ibn Mas’üd will be awarded preference. but to extract a juridical proposition or injunction from that hadith is another matter altogether. One may study the works of the four famous Imams and get an understanding of the reality of this topic." Imam Awzã’i thereupon narrated the following hadith: “Zuhri narrates from Sãlim and he in turn from Ibn Umar that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to observe the raising of the hands while commencing the salat. In spite of two apparently conflicting hadiths being authentic. Sufyan ibn 'Uyayna says Imam’Abü Hànifa and Imam Awza'i (may Allah be pleased with them) once met in one of the bazaars of the blessed city of Makka. while proceeding toward ruku' and while rising from it. comparing the two chains of narrators. Even though this was mentioned in brief in a previous chapter. (Hence. said. it is their profession to accept or reject a narration. Imam Awzã'i said to Imam Abü Hanifa. Nor is it possible for us to verify whether the reasons for the rejection of a certain hadith which we are aware of. the shorter link of narrators renders my hadith more authentic. what about those that came after them. “There are only three links of narrators between me and Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) in the hadith I have narrated.. Moreover. As for those who came even after them. what status do they hold relative to the Imams? In spite of their magnificence in the field of hadith. Hence. it is not possible for us to determine whether the narrations that we have before us have exactly the same chain of narrators as the narrations of the people of the past.” . In other words. are the only reasons for the rejection of that hadith. “If there are any contradictions in the views of Ibn Mas'ud and Ibn ‘Umar. the status and era of the Imams precedes that of Imam Bukhãri and Imam Muslim. If this is the case with these two Imams. salat except at the beginning of the salat while observing the opening takbir [tahrima]. or which Imam Bukhãri or Imam Muslim mention. The second angle of differences found between the Imams of jurisprudence is due to their various reasons for the preference of a hadith. it would be foolish to object as to why a certain Imam has rejected a certain narration.” Imam Abü Hanifa replied. I will merely explain this briefly in the form of an example. like Imam Abu Dãwud.. they had no option in the field of jurisprudence [fiqh] but to follow one of the Imams. As for the final link in my chain of narrators—Abdullah ibn Mas'ud—there s no need to mention his virtues. whereas there are four links in the hadith you have narrated. Abü Bakr Ibn al-Arabi (may Allah be pleased with him) writes in his commentary of Sunan al-Tirmidhi. I feel it is necessary to mention it separately in a bit more detail because this is one of the major reasons contributing to the differences found among the Imams. or whether there were any other reasons for its rejection. after thirteen hundred (now fourteen hundred) years.” Imam Awza'i was thereupon compelled to remain silent. what are their reasons for awarding preference to one of the two conflicting narrations? This is also a very lengthy discussion. then Alqama also has certain virtues. “Hammãd is amore superior jürist [faqih] than Zuhri. like Daraquni and Bayhaqi. Memorizing a hadith is one thing. If Ibn Umar has the virtue of being a Companion. Today. Ibrãhim Nakh'ay is also superior to Sälim and Alqama is also not inferior to Ibn Umar in jurisprudence.)” Thereupon Imam Abü Hanifa.51 bullion dealers. and Imam Ibn Maja. “We do not observe this because its veracity is not established from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). “Hammäd narrates from Ibrãhim al-Nakh'ay and he in turn from ‘Alqama and Aswad and they narrate from Ibn Mas'ud that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would not raise his hands in. Imam Tirmidhi. Imam Nasa’i. “Why do yeu—the Hanafis—not observe the raising of the hands [raf' al-yadain] while proceeding toward rukü' and while rising from ruku’ Imam Abu Hanifa replied. there are differences among the Imams regarding the preference of one narration over the other. Imam Awzã'i commented.” Upon this.
. This makes a great deal of sense. the Hanafis award preference to those hadiths which conform more closely to this form of tranquillity. THE APPROACH OF THE HANAFI SCHOOL OF THOUGHT Occasionally. This is quite evident from his book Al-Muwatta'. On the other hand. that hadith will be awarded preference over the others. the words of the Qur’an are the actual words (of Allah) transmitted by the narrators. Similarly. In most cases. the narration of a jurist [faqih] is awarded preference over the other. the narration which is in greater conformance to the text of the Qur’an will obviously gain more preference over the other narration. Those who claim to follow the hadiths directly are urged to analyze the hadiths thoroughly and determine which of the apparently conflicting hadiths have more preferential factors than the others. according to Imam Mãlik (may Allah be pleased with him). Häzimi has mentioned fifty such factors in his book Kitab al-Nasikh wa ‘l-mansukh. However. “It is a principle of the Mäliki school of thought that if a hadith is popular among the people of Madina Munawwara. The practice of the people of Madina Munawwara is (to him) a preferential factor. the more perfectly he will narrate the hadith. “And stand before Allah with ease and tranquillity” (Surat al-Baqara 2:238). if there is a contradiction between some hadiths and the practice of the people of Madina Munawwara conforms to any one of them. according to Imam Abu Hanifa. Obviously. according to the Hanafi school.” There are many factors by which some hadiths are awarded preference over others. there is no need to analyze its chain of narrators. not all these factors are unanimously agreed upon by all of the various Imams. Therefore. . This is so because the narrations may possess some other more superior preferential factors. In one example of the above principle. For example. from two conflicting narrations. This sounds quite logical because the more intelligent a narrator. This is so simply because the Holy Qur’an declares. Hence. the Hanafis award preference to the narration that does not mention raising of the hands in salat over the narration which does mention it. they are the words of the narrators who narrated the meaning of the hadith. because the words of many of the hadiths are not the actual words of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). from among the conflicting narrations. This will enable them to practice upon the hadiths which have more preferential factors. According to Imam Awzâ'i and also according to the Shäfi'is. as explained previously. if there is a contradiction found between two narrations.52 My aim in quoting this debate between these two scholars is merely to expose the reasons for preference that each one of them held. the narration with the shorter link of narrators is awarded preference over the narration with the longer chain. the fact that a hadith is in greater conformance with the text of the Qur’an is one of the most noteworthy preferential factors that render a particular hadith superior to those that contradict it. as opposed to those which have less. According to the principles of the Hanafi school. Allama Iraqi enumerated over one hundred such factors in his Kitab al-Nukat. The Mãliki scholar Ibn al-Arabi writes in the commentary of Sunan al-Tirmidhi. preference is awarded to a narration according to the degree of-expertise in jurisprudence among the chain of narrators. the Hanafi school of thought awards preference to those hadiths which have a weaker chain of narrators or even to those hadiths whose chains of narration may not be as superior to the others.
” in the witr salat because they were considered as two sürats of the Holy Qur’an. My other colleagues respected Mufti Mahmüd. Hence. time did not assist me in completing it. There are thousand of examples of this nature. the Hanafis have chosen the qunut (a supplication made in the witr salat) of ‘Allahumma inna nastainuka. Also. . but only managed to find rough manuscripts of these pages. Hence. it is not possible to practice upon the narrations.. However. the magazine Al-Mazahir was terminated due to a lack of resources. I had no hope whatsoever of it ever coming into print. Since this book before you is incomplete. during one of my journeys to Hijäz. Furthermore. saying that even an incomplete book of this nature would still be beneficial. Similarly. but in spite of this he insisted on printing it. I used to put them off saying that it is incomplete. “And glorify the praises of your Lord before sunrise and before sunset” (Sura Qaf 50:39). the narrations which conform more to tranquillity are more juridically preferable in the Hanafi school. In the early days of Islam. EPILOGUE I had written more on this subject. I was unable to complete it. but this was gradually abrogated and the salat metamorphosed into a more tranquil action. my friend Mawlãna Aziz unearthed those lost pages from Allah knows where. but out of fear of long-windedness. Without this. the narrations which do not mention any recitation while performing salat behind the Imam are awarded preference over those narrations which mention this practice. Hence. it was also my desire to do so. and others had also insisted that this book be published. In addition. it was permissible to speak (and to make salãm) in salat. Mawlanã Yünus. During my student days. I had lengthy and detailed discussions in mind and I had initially decided to write about four to five hundred pages. Nonetheless. Mawlãnã Salman. (‘This was the magazine toward which the author used to contribute articles on this topic. “And when the Qur’an is being recited. May Allah grant benefit to him as well as to those who read this book.53 This ruling is also established from other previous occurrences. One or two parts were still missing from the original manuscript.. All I wish to add at this point is that it is extremely important for those who claim to follow the hadiths directly to acquaint themselves with the elements that contribute to the weakness of a narration and to understand the factors which render a particular hadith more acceptable than the others. This is so because of the Qur’anic verse. Mawlãnã Aqil. Whenever my friends insisted publish it. I permitted Mawlanã Shãhid to go ahead in printing this book. the Hanafis are of the opinion that it is better to delay the Fajr and 'Asr prayers. “Before sunrise” and “before sunset” means a time which is close to them..) My colleagues insisted’ that I complete this book and. A period of three to four hours before sunrise or sunset is not normally referred to as being “before” sunrise or “before” sunset. I commenced compiling a summary on the basic principles of the Imams and a summary on the factors that render one hadith more acceptable than the others. but due to my extremely busy schedule. it is better to delay the Fajr and 'Asr prayers because it is in greater conformance with the Qur'anic verse. listen to it attentively and remain silent” (Surat a1-Araf 7:204). And Allah is the best of guides. I will leave them out.
1315 AH (February 12. indeed. His immediate family and his predecessors were distinguished by firm resolve. and his lineage continues all the way back to Abu Bakr the great Companion of the Messenger (PBUH) . Since his father and Shaykh Gangohi had a close relationship. mastery of this science has been waning in Egypt and Syria since the tenth century AH.publishing business. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi said about him. was among the great scholars of India. Jami al-Tirmidhi. He instead made his living through his own book. As a young boy. Upon them ended the era of leadership in teaching hadiths. and others of the six famous authentic books of hadith [sihãh sitta]. Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Sahãranpuri. the scholars of India in the present era. and commentary upon its texts [mutun). Shaykh Muhammad Yahya..” by his teacher. “ His father. but did not accept any payment for his services.54 (Mawlãnã) Muhammad Zakariyya 22 Jumada ‘l-Ulã 1391 AH ABOUT THE AUTHOR In the last century. and adherence to religion... or “Great Scholar of Hadith. India has undoubtedly become an important centre for the study of hadith. steadfastness. al-Bukhäri. 1898 CE). in the district of Saharanpur. “Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was born into a household rooted in knowledge and passion for Islam.” There is no doubt that Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was among the most distinguished hadith scholars of India and a great contributor in service of the Sunna. and his grandmother memorized the entire Qur’an while nursing her son [Shaykh Zakariyyã’s father]. Shaykh Yalyã went on to teach at Madrasa Mazahir 'Ulum in the district of Saharanpur. this science would have withered away in the eastern cities. perseverance. Under him he studied Sahih. who recognized his deep insight. And. whose primary teacher in hadith was Shaykh Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. He was given the honorary title of Shaykh al-Hadith. Lineage and Upbringing He was born in the village of Kãndhlã (in Uttar Pradesh. he began learning how to read with Hakim ‘Abd al-Rahmãn of Muzaffarnagar He memorized the Qur’an with his father and also studied books in Persian and the introductory .. Such was their mastery of this science that Muhammad Rashid Rida mentions in the introduction of his book Miftah Kunüz al-Sunna.. Shaykh Zakariyya quickly earned the affection of his father’s teacher. Shaykh Zakariyya moved with his father to the village of Gangoh. His full name was Muhammad Zakariyyã ibn Muhammad Yahya ibn Muhammad Ismãil. “Were it not for the superb attention to detail in the science of hadith displayed by our brothers. India) on Ramadan 10. and extensive knowledge of hadith and related sciences. His family included many notable scholars .. and the scholars of India have become well known for their passion for religious knowledge. codification of the special fields [funun} of hadith. Growing up in this virtuous environment. clear-sightedness.
This event was extremely traumatic for Shaykh Zakariyya. But by the time he was seventeen. he travelled to Madina Munawwara. he showed that he was not only an able. He also taught Mishkãt al-Masabih until 1344 AH. when the shaykh passed away. ‘Although he was one of the youngest teachers at the school. he advanced his study of Arabic. He studied with few but select teachers who reached the highest levels of learning.55 Arabic books with his uncle Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas (founder of the Tabligh movement). where he resided for one year. Shaykh Khalil Ahmad expressed his desire to write Badhl al-Majhud. At the age of twelve.. He began teaching Sunan Abi Dawüd. and piety In addition to his father (Shaykh Muhammad Yahya) and uncle (Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas). furthermore. When he returned to India. when Shaykh Zakariyyã was just nineteen. Shaykh Abü al-Hasan Nadwi said. and he sought Shaykh Zakariyya’s assistance as his right-hand man. as well as a number of primary texts of Islamic jurisprudence. and the second half of Sahih al-Bukhari. and was even mentioned by name in the commentary. and then he studied Sahih al-Bukhari and Sunan al-Tirmidhi (for a second time) with the honourable Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Sahãranpüri. his dear father passed away. He was twenty-nine at the time. a commentary on Sunan Abi Däwüd. There he taught Sunan Abi Dawud at Madrasa al-’Ulum al-Shar'iyya. expanded his insight in the science of hadith. he began working on Awjaz al-Masalik ila Muwatta Imam Malik. authorship. and literature. he studied under the hadith scholar Khalil Ahmad Sahãranpuri. The school’s principle taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari and after his death. author of the Badhl al-Majhüd. and also logic. Out of his immense respect for hadith. the city of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . Teachers Shaykh Zakariyya was blessed to live and learn in an era considered by many to be one of great achievements in Islamic knowledge by scholars in the Indian subcontinent. . Shaykh Zakariyya was given the honor of teaching the entire work. His deep sorrow remained with him for the rest of his life. tackling many classical texts on Arabic morphology grammar. research. under his father. Before his death. Shaykh Zakariyyã acquired a hadith authorization from him and remained his student until Shaykh Khalil’s death in Madina Munawwara in 1346 AH.” In 1345 AH. a commentary on Imam Malik’s Muwatta. In 1341 AH he was assigned to teach three sections of Sahih al-Bukhari upon the insistence of Shaykh KhaliI Ahmad. He stayed with his father in the company of Shaykh Gangohi until age eight. morphology. he resumed teaching at Mazahir 'Ulüm. Teaching Career In Muharram 1335 Al-I he was appointed as a teacher at Madrasa Mazahir 'Ulüm where he was assigned to teach books on Arabic grammar. attained the pleasure and trust of his shaykh. He studied five of the six authentic books of hadith with his father. 1334 AH. as he lost not only a father but also a teacher and mentor. but an exceptional teacher. He worked hard on the project. While in Madina. This indeed opened the door to Shaykh Zakariyya’s authoring many literary works and treatises over the course of his life. This experience revealed Shaykh Zakariyyã’s gift of penmanship and. There. hadith became the main focus of his life. Shaykh Zakariyya was extremely particular about always studying the hadith narrations with wudu’ On Dhü 'l-Qa'da 10. he was selected to teach works generally not assigned to those of his age. Sunan alNasa'i the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad. Shaykh Zakariyyã travelled with his father to Mazãhir 'Ulum. nor to anyone in the early stages of his teaching career: Nevertheless. literature.
He was often tested with regard to his sincerity. he later totalled up the amount and paid it back in its entirety. Although he did accept a small salary at the beginning of his career. He would then return to his quarters to read. Thereafter he would go to meet with some people and drink tea (but never ate anything with it). and he put his heart and soul into it. His students have related that whenever the death of the Messenger (PBUH) was mentioned during a lecture on Sunan Abi Däwüd or Sahih alBukhari his eyes would swell up with tears. He was offered many teaching jobs at two or three time the salary that was customarily given at Mazähir 'Ulüm. When it was time for lunch he would come out and sit with his guests. and he would be overcome with crying. Daily Routine Shaykh Zakariyyã organized his time meticulously. Travels to the Two Holy Cities Allah blessed him with the opportunity to visit the two holy cities of Makka and Madina. both spiritually and educationally. Personality . For most of his teaching career. he would read his morning supplications and litany until sunrise. and good character from his father (may Allah be pleased with him). He first married the daughter of Shaykh Ra’uf al-Hasan in Kandhlã. he taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari twenty-five times.. After Zuhr prayer. seeking Allah’s pleasure. After performing Maghrib. but he always graciously declined the offers. 1355 AH. no one was allowed to visit him at this time. Household Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyyã was married twice. his voice would choke up. He would rise an hour before dawn and occupy himself in tahajjud and recitation of Qur’an before performing the Fajr prayer in the masjid. He performed hajj several times. he would respect and treat them well. He aspired to follow the Qur’an and Sunna in all matters. who were from all walks of life. the work of hadith had become his passion. and two daughters and one son from his second marriage. Sincere Love for Allah & the Prophet Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyyã inherited piety honesty. when he was forced to give up teaching after developing eye cataracts. the complete Sahih al-Bukhäri sixteen times. May Allah have mercy on him and put light in his grave. Shaykh Zakariyyã taught until 1388 AH.56 In all. After 'Asr he would sit with a large group of people. He had extreme love for the Prophet and the blessed city of Madina. He made the blessed journey with Shaykh KhalIl Ahmad in 1338 AH and with him again in 1344 AH. He did not take an evening meal except to entertain an important guest. and Sunan Abi Dawüd thirty times. he would remain devoted in solitude to optional prayer and to supplication. He also taught for two hours before 'Asr. He did not just teach hadith as a matter of routine. and his multiple trips had a profound personal effect on him. and. big and small. irrespective of who they were. During this time he would also research and compile his literary works. It was during the second trip that Shaykh Khalil completed Badhl al-Majhud. Shaykh Zakariyya never accepted any money for his services at Mazãhir 'Ulum. he did the work voluntarily. So evocative were his tears that his students could do nothing but weep with raised voices. She passed away on Dhü ‘l-Hijja 5. with a passion not found in many scholars. with few exceptions. offering them tea. After Fajr. he died shortly thereafter and was buried in the Baqi' graveyard in Madina. He then married the daughter of Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas Kandlawi in 1356 AH. Allah blessed him with five daughters and three sons from his first wife. he would take a siesta and then spend some time listening to his correspondence (which amounted to around forty or fifty letters daily from different places) and dictating replies.
Shaykh Abü ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi relates that Shaykh ‘Alwai al-Maliki said. ‘Allãrna Mubammad Yusuf Binnóri relates. If the author had not mentioned in the introduction of [his] book that he was a Hanafi. Zambia. England. never lazy. They have been guided to praiseworthy efforts in multiple religious sciences. “He was extremely vibrant. Shaykh Sa’id Ahmad. Amin. . particularly establishing traditional Islamic schools in India. fear of Allah. South Africa. and he often jested with his close friends and acquaintances. like that of Ibn al-Jawzi and Imam Ghazãli. in the company of the Companions and the noble family members of the Messenger (PBUH) . both Arab and non-Arab. Some of his more prominent students in the field of hadith were Muhaddith Muhammad Yüsuf Kandhlawi (d. 1384 AH). but would have definitely concluded that he was a Mãliki. and Mufti Mahmüd Hasan Gangohi (d. grant mercy. Muafã’ al-Sibãi. Shaykh Abd al-Jabbar Azami. 1982 CE) and was buried in Jannat al-Baqi’. author of Amani ‘l-Ahbar Sharh Ma’ani ‘l-Athãr. to this day. When he reports the ruling and evidences of the Mãliki school [in his writings]. America. Among these scholars is a unique figure envied for his excellence in knowledge and action.. 1417 AH). Scholars’ Praise of Him Many scholars. both in knowledge and with the pen.. except Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Farangi Mahalli (of Lucknow). beneficial works and of beautiful. since in his Awjaz he cites by-laws and derivatives of the Maliki school from their books that even we have a hard time obtaining. and above all. as well as a rare humility. I know of no one comparable to him in this regard.57 Shaykh Abü ‘l-Hasan Ali Nadwi says about his characteristics. Of the scholars of his era. It is evident to one who takes a look at his works that he had a brilliancy. have praised him and recognized his knowledge and excellence. Canada. including Dr. I4O AH (May 2. He died there on Monday Sha'bãn . His funeral procession was followed by a large number of people and he was buried in the Baqi’ graveyard next to his teacher Shaykh Khalil Alimad Saharanpüri. such as jurisprudence. cheerful. and other countries. the author of outstanding. and piety.” Death He had always hoped to meet Allah while in the city of the Messenger Allah granted his wish. relates. his personal qualities were always governed by his deep faith and sense of contentment. they stir up memories of the blessed golden age of scholarship. to serve Islam. and elevate his status. Indeed there are some remnants of the scholars of past generations living today among the scholars of today’s generation.. Many other scholars and students also acquired authorizations in hadith from him. we Mâlikis are astonished at the accuracy and integrity of the report. UP. I would not have known that he was Hanafi. Muhammad Alawi al-MäIiki. excellence. smiling. Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda. Zimbabwe. superb commentaries: Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kãndhlawi Saharanpuri. they are on par with the previous generations in their knowledge. Students Shaykh Zakariyyã had numerous students who spread around the world and continue. friendly. Bangladesh. We saw in him good character and forbearance with people. Pakistan. and Shaykh Muhammad Tahã al-Barakãti. Dr. author of Imdad al-Bàri (Urdu commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari).. May Allah forgive him. the head of Islamic studies at the University of Aligarh.. lighthearted.
research it thoroughly. Al-Abwab wa ‘l-Taràjim Ii ‘l-Bukhãri: An explanation of the chapter headings of Imam Bukhãri’s Sahih al-Bukhari. and scholarly way. These life-long acquired wisdoms were recorded by his student Shaykh Yahyã Kãndhlawi (Shaykh Zakariyyã’s father) during their lessons. Lami' al-Dirari 'ala Jami' al-Bukhari: Written in Arabic. In it. his ability to understand the issue at hand. patience. It is well known that the commentators of Sahih al-Bukhari have paid special attention to the titles therein. in tune with the Arabic saying: “The fiqh of Bukhäri is in his chapter headings” [fiqh al-Bukhari fi tarajimihi]. twenty-four historical and biographical books. a collection of the unique remarks and observations on Sahih al-Bukhari presented by Shaykh Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. His works demonstrate his deep knowledge and intelligence.58 Written Works Shaykh Zakariyyã wrote many works both in Arabic and Urdu. Shaykh Zakariyya provides the summaries of many other commentaries in a clear. This commentary written in Arabic. his books have gained overwhelming acceptance throughout the world.day groups and movements. Whoever wished to publish them was permitted to. His written works amount to over one hundred. and six books on modern. Fada’il Ramadan [Virtues of Ramadan] into twelve languages. three books in Arabic grammar and logic. Here is a brief description of a few of his more popular works on hadith: Awjazal-Masalik ila-Muwatta’Imäm Malik: One of the most comprehensive commentaries on the Muwatta of Imam Mãlik in terms of the science of hadith. and present a complete. dealing with the various opinions on each issue. clarifying the text and adding a comprehensive introduction at the beginning. six books on jurisprudence [fiqh] and its related sciences. and commented on his father’s compilation. twelve books on abstinence [zuhd] and heart-softening accounts [riqaq]. jurisprudence. His first written work was a three-volume commentary of the Alfiyya Ibn Malik (on Arabic grammar). even when he disagrees with their opinions on any particular aspect. A number of them treat specialized subjects intended for scholars. mentioning the differences of opinions among the various scholars. Shaykh Zakariyyã not only quotes and compiles what has been mentioned by other scholars like Shah WaIi Allah al-Dehlawi and Ibn Hajar aI-Asqalani. and the rest have been written for the general public. forty-four books on hadith and its related sciences. He did not withhold any rights to his works and made it publicly known that he only published his works for the sake of Allah’s pleasure. and Fada'il al-Salat [Virtues of Prayer] into fifteen languages. He wrote four books on Qur’an commentary [tafsir] and proper recitation [tajwid]. which he wrote as a student when he was only thirteen. on the condition that they were left unaltered and their accuracy maintained. has won great acclaim from a number of MãIiki scholars. arranged. but also correlates and clarifies these opinions and presents findings from his own research in many instances. Hence. four books on Islamic creed [aqida]. Shaykh Zakariyya edited. and comparing their evidences. clear and comprehensive discussion. humility (as can be seen from the preface of this book). Assigning chapter headings in a hadith collection is a science in itself. his moderation. and attention to detail. Some of His Hadith Works One can find a complete list and description of his books in the various biographies written on him. intellectual.. known among the scholars as al-abwãb wa 'l-taräjim [chapters and explanations]. so much so that his work Fada'il alQuran [Virtues of the Qur’an] has been translated into eleven languages. the compiler explains the reasons for the chapter heading and the connections between the chapter headings and the hadiths quoted therein. His respect and awe for the pious predecessors are evident in his works. and hadith explication. .
Bukhari. Abu Dawud. Kibaul Siyam (Book 13). 1 Sahih Muslim. and other details of the places the Messenger of Allah passed by or stayed at. This commentary explains the various aspects related to the different characteristics and practices of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Muwatta and Tirmidhi. Kitabul Salat al-Layl (Book 7) Hadith 266 (Book 7 : Hadith 7. Hadith 2027 .Wida' wa Umrat al-Nabi : A comprehensive Arabic commentary on the detailed accounts of the pilgrimage [hajj] of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Kitabul Sawm (Book 6). Hadith 2477 9 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 1374 4 Sahih Bukhari..59 Juz’ Hajjat al. a commentary on Imam Tirmidhi’s renowned work Al-Shamã’il al-Muhammadjya. Kitabul Salat (Book 4). It has been translated into English and is widely available. Kitabul Sawm (Book 31).17) 3 Sahih Muslim. Hadith 164 10 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Salat (Book 11). Khasa'il Nabawi Sharh Shama’il al-Tirmidhi: Composed in Urdu. [Adapted from the Arabic biography on Shaykh Zakariyya Kãndhlawi by Wali‘1-Din Nadwi] REFERENCES: For the books of Hadith available on internet i. 2 Muwatta Malik. modern-day names. Hadith 636 5 Sunan Abu Dawud. Hadith numbering is according to what is in vogue on internet. Kitabul Salat (Book 2). Hadith 2381 8 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Salat (Book 4) Hadith 888. Hadith 2474 11 Sunan Nisai. Muslim. Hadith 2286-2288 12 Sahih Muslim.3. Hadith 514 7 Sunan Abu Dawud. a collection of hadiths detailing the characteristics of the Messenger (PBUH). Kitabul Sawm (Book 6). It includes the details of any juridical discussions on the various aspects of pilgrimage. giving the locations. Kitabul Salat (Book 2). Kitabul Salat (Book 22).e. Kitabul Salat (Book 2). Hadith 512 6 Sunan Abu Dawud.
Hadith 295 33 Sahih Bukhari. Kitabul Fadhail al-Quran (Book 61). Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Hadith 759 32 Sunan Abu Dawud. Kitabul Jana'iz (Book 20). Hadith 1766 18 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Manasik al-Hajj (Book 10). Hadith 1902 14 Sahih Muslim.60 13 Sahih Muslim. Hadith 3171 23 Sahih Muslim. Ta’wil mukhtalaf al-hadith. Hadith 3726 25 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 537 26 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Nikah (Book 8). Hadith 398 22 Sunan Abu Dawud. Kitabul Hajj (Book 26). Hadith 3429 (Sayyida Umm Salma and other wives of Holy Prophet (pbuh) took it as special case) 16 Ibn Qutayba al-Dainwari. Kitabul Salat (Book 4). Kitabul al-Buyu (Book 10). Kitabul Mudhari' (Book 39). Hadith 659 21 Sahih Bukhari.1 p. Hadith 207 etc. Kitabul Jana'iz (Book 23). Kitabul Salat (Book 12). Hadith 3742 24 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Buyu (Book 10). Hadith 3424 15 Sahih Muslim. Hadith 3006 19 Sahih Bukhari. bab zikr al-ashaab al-kalaam wa ashaab 17 Sunan Abu Dawud. 1/156 29 Sunan Abu Dawud. Kitabul Salat (Book 2). Hadith 818 20 Sahih Bukhari.. vol. Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Hadith 3754 27 Jami' Tirmidhi. Kitabul Nikah (Book 8). Hadith 3427 (that Sayyida 'A'isha thought it general ) Sahih Muslim. Hadith 638 31 Sahih Bukhari. 30 Sunan Abu Dawud. Majma' al-Zawa'id wa Manba' al-Fawa'id. Kitabul Hajj (Book 26). Hadith 572 . Hadith 1855 28 Imam Haithmi. Kitabul At'ima (Book 28).11. Kitabul Hajj (Book 7). Kitabul al-Buyu (Book 10). Kitabul Nikah (Book 8).
Hadith 353 44 Sunan Abu Dawud. Hadith 490 49 Sahih Muslim. Hadith 196 35 Sahih Muslim. Sutra al-Musalla (Book 9).. Hadith 608 53 Jami' Tirmidhi. Hadith 445 40 Mu'jam al-Tabarani al-Kabeer 6/213. Kitabul Ashriba (Book 26). Kitabul Sawm (Book 6). Kitabul Umra (Book 27). Hadith 2451 48 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 192 46 Sahih Bukhari. Kitabul Jana'iz (Book 20). Hadith 107 42 Jami' Tirmidhi. Hadith 3108 51 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 723 .61 34 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 6372 41 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 325 39 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 79 54 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 3524 50 Sunan Abu Dawud. Kitabul Hudood (Book 81). Kitabul Maghazi (Book 59). . Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Hadith 4 47 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Hadith 649 52 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 2592 36 Sahih Bukhari. Kitabul Sawm (Book 31). Kitabul Salat (Book 12). Kitabul Tib (Book 71). Hadith 194 45 Sunan Abu Dawud. Hadith 773 37 Sunan Abu Dawud. Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Kitabul Tib (Book 71). Kitabul Sawm (Book 6). Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Hadith 3672 38 Sunan Nisai. Hadith 3834 43 Sunan Abu Dawud. Kitabul Talaq (Book 9). Kitabul Manaqib (Book 52). Kitabul Manaqib (Book 57). Kitabul Taharah (Book 1).
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